Ascot Capital picks up Port Macquarie office from Sentinel for $37.9 million

Ascot Capital is paying $37.9 million for a Port Macquarie office with a long lease to Essential Energy.

The asset, 8 Buller Street, was offloaded by Sentinel Property Group which paid $20.6 million in January, 2017.

A subsequent renovation improved the building quality to A-grade.

Sentinel PG re-offered the office for sale after securing the NSW government-funded energy group as occupier for 15 years.

The 6300 square metre office occupies a 5042 sqm L-shaped block zoned for high density residential.

JLL’s Sam Hatcher and Elliot O’Shea sold 8 Buller Street for Sentinel PG.

The NSW mid north coast building acts as the headquarters for Essential Energy, which operates the state’s electricity network.

The complex sits on a 5042 sqm L-shaped site which is zoned to allow for high density residential.

One group’s ‘value add opportunity’ is another’s ‘passive investment’

Ascot Capital, which manages syndicates and funds, described the 6300 square metre Port Macquarie office as a passive investment.

It wasn’t looking at buying in the area before meeting the marketing agents.

Sentinel PG picked up the office from Ballina-based Clarence Property Group managed The Westlawn Property Trust.

At the time it was also fully leased to Essential Energy, which was paying annual rent of $1.77 million on a lease expiring in about 2021.

Following the renovation, the Buller Street office was held in the Sentinel Regional Office Trust.

As well as the A-grade quality fit-out, Sentinel PG installed two lifts, new end of trip facilities, air conditioning units, switchboards, carpets, ceiling grids and lighting.

Sentinel Property Group paid $20.7 million for 8 Buller Street, Port Macquarie (outlined), in early 2017.

Sentinel PG has a track record of adding value to commercial buildings.

Last June it paid Challenger Life $103 million for Makerston House, a B-grade office in the Brisbane CBD’s burgeoning North Quarter (this office was Sentinel PG’s largest property purchase since establishing in 2010).

It also invests in secure investments, perhaps with longer term development upside: in 2018 spending $23.3 million on a Bunnings-anchored homemaker centre near Newcastle.

This 4.3 hectare site with a 17,171 sqm facility now sits within the Sentinel Homemaker Trust. Headquartered in Brisbane, Sentinel PG’s $1.2 billion-plus property portfolio includes more than 50 investments on Australia’s east coast, and in the ACT, Northern Territory and Western Australia.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and journalist, Marc is the publisher of realestatesource.com.au.

Marc Pallisco