Malaysian real estate giant Mulpha has purchased Brimbank Plaza in Melbourne's western suburbs for $150 million from Blackstone.
The 37,576sq m sub-regional shopping centre in Deer Park has a combined fully-leased net income of $12.3 million per annum, anchored by Woolworths, Coles, Aldi, and Target.
Blackstone purchased the Brimbank property in 2016 from ASX-listed Vicinity Centres along with Clifford Gardens, Forest Hill Chase and Toombul for $841.4 million.
The massive 11-hectare site with more than 1700 car spaces was listed last year and sold by CBRE's Mark Wizel, Justin Dowers and Lewis Tong to the real estate and hospitality investor group.
Mulpha was also recently granted consent with conditions for the $203 million concept plan for a facelift of Sydney’s InterContinental Hotel from the Independent Planning Commission.
Wizel said the significance of the sale was clear to see at a time when sub-regional shopping centres had been under a lot of pressure.
“It has been a difficult time for shopping centre owners in terms of sustaining current rental levels, retaining tenants at lease expiry, and the softening of cap rates through revaluations,” he said.
“However there remains a healthy appetite from a wide range of buyers in what is an evolving retail landscape.”
The last major sub-regional mall sale in Melbourne was that of the 26,598 square metre (GLA) Burwood One in Melbourne’s east to a private Hong Kong investor for $181.5 million.
Dowers said there were similarities between the Brimbank and Burwood One centre sales in terms of underlying land value with Brimbank’s low 34 per cent site coverage providing significant potential for value-add and expansion opportunities.
“Should a planning permit be approved there are opportunities to expand into mixed-use development appealing to commercial and residential markets which would further bolster the centre as Brimbank municipality’s community hub.”
Wizel said there was little doubt that yields would continue to ease in order to attract buyers to an investment class that now required more intensive management at least in the short to medium term
“Yields are going to need to be at a more attractive level than what has been the case over the past decade,” he said.