Australian Unity spends $55m on aerospace centre

The Williamtown property, tenanted to 15 groups, is selling at a six per cent yield.

Australian Unity is paying c$55 million for the first stage of the Williamtown Aerospace Centre.

The 1.78 hectare property, developed in 2014 at the Newcastle Airport entrance, contains six fully leased campus style buildings with a total lettable area of 7557 square metres.

Australian Unity recently spend $48.25m on Adelaide’s Centre of Defence.

Half the $3.3m annual revenue is derived from publicly listed companies – Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon Technologies Group and Viasat Inc, amongst them.

The Weighted Average Lease Expiry by income is 3.9 years.

There are also 470 car parks, some in a multi-level garage.

Colliers’ Peter Macadam and Chris Chapman were the marketing agents.

The property forms part of a 100ha zone, the bulk of which is earmarked for more commercial product to be targeted to aviation, defence and innovation clients; a consortium comprising the Port Stephens Council, City of Newcastle, University of Newcastle, Hunter Land and Forsythes Recruitment has been leading its delivery.

The Williamtown investment, 1 and 2 Technology Place, will be slotted into the Australian Unity Diversified Property Fund, which now holds 11 assets worth a total of $622.93m (story continues below).

ADPF now worth $623m

Last December, for the trust, AU paid $48.25m for Adelaide’s Osborne Centre of Defence.

It has also offloaded assets – including in January, a Brisbane distribution centre to Dexus for $85m – a substantial premium to the ($61m) May, 2020, book value.

Thirteen months ago it sold an inner-north Melbourne office for $72m; a rise on the $42.3m outlaid in 2014.

In a major retail deal, two years ago, ADPF divested a half-share of Perth’s Baragoon Garden City Shopping Centre for $575m to Scentre, which immediately rebranded it a Westfield.

“The fund continues with its active strategy and this (Williamtown) acquisition has further diversified the tenant base,” an AU announcement said.

“Whilst the property is currently occupied by defence industry supporting tenants, the location of the property, the design of the buildings, abundance of car parking and the rental rates makes it a property ideally situated for any commercial tenant in the future,” ADPF fund manager Nikki Panagopoulos added.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of