Church makes tactical $55m Central Coast warehouse play

Sanitarium’s food processing plant at 1 Sanitarium Drive, Berkeley Vale.

The Seventh-Day Adventist Church has outlaid $55 million for a 6.5 hectare Central Coast industrial asset behind the manufacturing plant owner-occupied by its Sanitarium foods business.

At 3 Sanitarium Drive, Berkeley Vale, midway between Sydney and Newcastle, the distribution centre, with 27,762 square metres in three buildings, was offloaded by ESR, which paid $34m in 2018.

The fund manager held the investment in the ESR-LOGOS Real Estate Investment Trust; it was last valued at $46.4m.

Linfox is the outgoing tenant.

Sanitarium for decades until 2001 occupied one of Victoria’s highest profile, historic factories – on the banks of the Yarra River, in Warburton, east of Melbourne, a site which in recent years has been the subject of a residential redevelopment proposal.

Proceeds to fund upcoming developments, works: ESR

Following the 3 Sanitarium Dve sale, ESR-LOGOS REIT holds 83 assets across Australia and Singapore, with a gross floor area of c2.4 million sqm (story continues below).

“The net proceeds from the [Berkeley Vale] divestment will be deployed to repay outstanding borrowings, finance upcoming asset enhancements and/or fund general working capital requirements,” ESR chief executive officer and executive director, Adrian Chui, said.

“In line with our capital recycling efforts to focus on modern and in-demand new economy assets, this divestment dovetails with our commitment to pursue value opportunities with potentially higher total returns,” he added.

“Divesting this property at a premium to fair value is illustrative of our portfolio recalibration strategy to unlock value from non-core properties,” according to the executive.

“We will continue to actively review our portfolio to identify attractive opportunities for growth and deliver greater income stability to optimise unitholders’ returns”.

The church is buying 3 Sanitarium Dve via its legal organisation, the Australasian Conference Association.

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Marc Pallisco

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