Recovery in Real Estate Reveals Opportunity


While Covid was undoubtedly the biggest disrupter for many across the industry, Fiveight chief executive John Meredith says the pandemic has created openings across property sectors.

“I'd say the main thing that it has done is it's probably been a catalyst for assets to come to market that probably wouldn't have... had it not been for Covid.

“And so, we do see a greater depth in terms of opportunities nationally that we probably wouldn't have expected at the start of the [2020] year,” Meredith told The Urban Developer.

An A-grade office tower at 190 St Georges Terrace in Perth CBD marked Fiveight’s first official transaction since launching last year— in the midst of the pandemic—snapped up from Credit Suisse for $55 million.

The building last transacted for $64.2 million four years prior.

▲ Fiveight has continued to quench its acquisition appetite with property a big focus. Image: Fiveight chief executive John Meredith.
▲ Fiveight has continued to quench its acquisition appetite with property a big focus. Image: Fiveight chief executive John Meredith.

The focus on property forms part of a strategic play by billionaire mining magnate Andrew Forrest’s private investment company, Tattarang.

Forrest’s Tattarang group hold a 36 per cent shareholding of Fortescue Metals Group, the iron ore business he founded in 2003.

Tattarang is made up of six business divisions which include its newest property arm Fiveight, along with Harvest Road, SFM Marine, Squadron Energy, Wyloo Metals and Z1Z.

Forrest’s Tattarang group is also at the helm of the proposed Ningaloo Lighthouse project, which involves plans to redevelop the Exmouth caravan park into a luxury eco-resort, and the redevelopment of the Indiana restaurant in Cottesloe.

It is also behind the $218 million East Perth Power station redevelopment, along with Kerry Stokes' Australian Capital Equity, after being named as the preferred proponents in April last year.

In the year ahead, Meredith says Fiveight’s own focus involves a flexible investment mandate as it considers assets beyond Western Australia.

“So we look across every asset class and really, that gives us flexibility,” he said.

“I probably won't make comment on specific deals or markets we're looking at but simplistically, it makes sense for us to contemplate our investment strategy and portfolio allocation on a national basis at least given our overweight exposure to Western Australia.

“I think in simple terms, the east coast commercial and development markets have been strong for a number of years though. So, the investments we make are very much going to have to be asset-specific.”

“I think the story really simplistically has to move from, tell me to show me. So we've got some great projects in the pipeline. The pipeline is the operative word here.”

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