YFG Shopping Centres will take full ownership of Brisbane's Mt Ommaney Shopping Centre after acquiring a 75 per cent stake from Nuveen Real Estate for $285 million.
The off-market deal follows YFG’s purchase late last year from Vicinity Centres of a 25 per cent stake in the complex, amid pressure on the retail sector from lacklustre consumer spending, weak demand and online competition.
Located in Brisbane's south-west, the Mt Ommaney centre has a total gross lettable area of 56,469sq m and is anchored by a triple supermarket offering of Coles, Woolworths and Aldi, alongside Kmart, Big W and Target.
CBRE’s head of retail capital markets Simon Rooney said strategic, off-market transactions such as this one—negotiated on behalf of investment manager Nuveen—reinforced the ability for retail owners to secure competitive pricing outcomes in the current market.
“We expect this trend to continue, as investors seek out high-quality, rarely traded retail opportunities offering attractive return parameters,” Rooney said.
Family-owned-and-operated YFG is presided over by one of Australia's richest property players, Gordon Fu and controls 20 shopping centres in south-east Queensland, including Australia Fair on the Gold Coast and Brookside Shopping Centre in Brisbane's north.
Nick Evans, Nuveen Real Estate head of Asia Pacific said the exit price reflected a premium to book value and was an "excellent outcome [...] in spite of ongoing headwinds for the sector”.
Rooney said the Mt Ommaney centre has development approval for an 11,481sq m expansion, including a cinema, casual dining precinct and entertainment destination together with an improved bus interchange and increased parking.
The Mt Ommaney acquisition comes as shopping centre stores reopen across the country after Covid-19 shutdowns, and follows on from an uptick in investor confidence in supermarket assets during the coronavirus pandemic.