ASX-listed developer Sunland Group has joined a number of high-profile developers selling down non-core retail assets and repositioning funds into commercial and residential pipelines.
Sunland has sold its Lakeview Retail Centre in Mermaid Waters to Bao Li Investments for $20 million after listing the retail asset earlier this year.
The retail centre is located on a prime 1.6 hectare site on Bermuda Street in Mermaid Waters and incorporates four freestanding buildings with a combined lettable area of 3,864sq m as well as 297 car parks.
It is anchored by a 7-Eleven Service Station, Fitness First Centre, Hoppy’s Car Wash and Hungry Jack's Drive-Thru alongside a range of smaller retail tenancies.
Sunland acquired the centre in 2014 as part of its $61 million buy of a 42 hectare former dairy farm, at the time dubbed Lakeview, from Sydney’s Scheinberg family.
Sunland Group managing director Sahba Abedian said the sale of Lakeview Retail Centre presented the group with an opportunity to allocate capital toward the broader strategic asset of The Lakes masterplan development, valued at $1.3 billion.
“This is an opportune asset sale that will enable us to invest in the next stages of development within The Lakes master planned community, with the launch of The Lanes Retail Village and The Lanes Residences later this year,” Abedian said.
The residential component of the masterplan will include a series of four mid-rise buildings, “The Lanes Residences”, that will border the newly named Lake Unity in Clear Island Waters.
The precinct's new retail element — “The Lanes” — will comprise 17,000sq m of retail space, a boulevard, outdoor amphitheatre located on the corner of Bermuda Street and Hooker Boulevard.
The two-level retail centre will feature 80 shops — cafes, restaurants, a fresh food hall, health and wellbeing services and a boutique cinema.
The masterplan will also feature a childcare centre. The 4,460sq m circular building, is targeted for a site on the corner of Hooker and Lakeview boulevards and will offer space for 162 children across nine rooms.
As weakening retail conditions hit the diversified portfolios of some of Australia’s largest listed companies, many have looked to avoid headwinds and redistribute funds into different asset classes.
Australia’s major retail investors and REITs continue to lessen their exposure to the sector — pursuing operational improvements to retail assets and improving portfolio quality by offloading non-core retail assets.
Stockland divested $284.5 million retail assets over the last 12 months, as it shifts focus to non-discretionary retail and “remixes” its retail convenience offering. The listed developer recently sold Cleveland Shopping Centre in outer Brisbane to syndicator Haben for $103 million.
Charter Hall Retail REIT and Telstra Super have stepped up their sell-off of in retail assets, putting the Great Western Super Centre in inner-northwest Brisbane on the block for about $90 million.
Vicinity Centres has also been refining its portfolio to focus on larger, destination centres by divesting smaller malls. So far Vicinity has sold down $2.7 billion of retail assets and has another $1.2 billion poised for divestment.