GPT Group’s Wholesale Shopping Centre Fund is looking to cash in their chips by offloading Wollongong Central, with price expectations around the $500 million-mark.
The sale, which is being marketed by Colliers International, will also include the rights to manage the landmark CBD shopping centre.
Located 90 kilometres from Sydney in the heart of the Wollongong's CBD, Wollongong Central sports a David Jones, Target, Coles, 14 mini-majors and over 170 specialty stores with a gross lettable area of 54,600 square metres.
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Wollongong Central’s current layout and retail offerings were as a result of a $68 million revitalisation project in late 2017 which saw the introduction of the latest generation David Jones, global retailer H&M, Mecca Maxima and other leading national retailers.
The development of the centre was one of the main drivers behind GPT’s decision to sell, despite the assumption that the public perception would lean towards the company “jumping ship” amid tough market conditions.
On the contrary, GTP expect high demand for a newly-developer shopping complex, expecting to fetch sales prices of around $500 million.
“Substantial investment has already taken place with the city centre seeing $1.3 billion of investment over the last four years and a further $300 million anticipated in the next two to three years,” Colliers International head of retail investment services Lachlan MacGillivray said.
“Underpinned by further development in high tech and high demand industries, such as advanced manufacturing, education and healthcare, Wollongong is the third largest city in NSW and has a thriving economy.”
GPT fund manager Brett Williams said the planned divestment of Wollongong Central would further increase the exposure of the GWSCF portfolio toward “super-regional shopping centres”.
“The re-weighting of the portfolio commenced with the divestment of Westfield Woden in late 2016, followed by the expansion of Macarthur Square to super-regional status in 2017.
More recently, the fund acquired an additional interest in Australia’s fifth largest shopping centre, Highpoint, in Melbourne for $680 million. GPT Group’s Wholesale Shopping Centre Fund was established in March 2007 with a $1.9 billion portfolio consisting of interests in eight retail assets located in New South Wales and Victoria.