Chris Lock snaring another Melbourne shopping centre

Brand Smart Nunawading at 288 Whitehorse Road.

Chris Lock’s IP Generation is buying another under-utilised land rich retail asset, this time a discount factory outlet in the heart of Nunawading’s “Golden Mile” commercial strip, 18 kilometres east of Melbourne.

The Nunawading complex contains 9315 square metres.

The Brand Smart on 2.58 hectares at 288 Whitehorse Road is speculated to be costing the investor well under $60 million according to sources.

PappaRich occupies one of Brand Smart’s 60 tenancies.

Vendor, Perth based Acure Asset Management, outlaid $67m in 2016; it contains 9315 square metres with 60 tenancies, and 455 car parks.

In early 2022, with occupancy at just over 70 per cent following COVID, the manager raised $20.5m for a major tenancy revamp.

At the time (based on a mid-2021 valuation), the mall was worth $38.15m – translating to a loan-to-value ratio of 87.7 per cent, substantially higher than the group’s (55pc) covenant ratio.

Stonebridge’s Justin Dowers with Teska Carson’s Matthew Feld and Luke Bisset brokered the IP Generation deal, which is yet to settle. The property failed to sell with different agencies following another public campaign in October, 2020.

Mr Lock is believed will proceed with a revamp; the site has development upside too, for seven level, or circa-21 metre, buildings.

The last major renovation was in 2010 by Commercial Property Corporation which sold it to Acure for a circa eight per cent yield.

Brisbane based Sentinel, directed by Warren Ebert, was an underbidder in that campaign (story continues below).

Buildings up to seven levels can rise from the 2.58 hectare Nunawading block.

Another opportune deal

A Nunawading deal would come a year since IP Generation paid $300m – $50m less than the mid-2020 valuation – for Craigieburn Central, on 24.87ha, in a north Melbourne growth corridor.

Craigieburn Central cost IP Generation $300 million last March.

Two years ago meanwhile, the former executive with the Liberman family backed Impact Investment Group, banked $40.1m for a Torquay commercial asset bought from Boardriders for $15m in 2018 then renovated.

In 2021, Mr Lock bought Mildura Central for $78.1m – a high nine per cent yield.

That seller, Vicinity, which acquired the 7.35ha asset under its Novion Property Group incarnation, paid $109.75m in late 2014.

Outside of Victoria, IP Generation in 2022 scored a major windfall selling a Coles-anchored Miranda, Sydney, mall, to Woolworths, for $68m – a capital gain of over 100pc in 16 months.

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Marc Pallisco

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