Ex-Bunnings sells for record price

A mixed use scheme marketed with 73-75 Gipps Street, Wollongong.

The former Bunnings Wollongong has sold to Sydney outfit Level 33 for $40 million – a record high for a local mixed use development site.

Proposed apartments at the ex-Bunnings Wollongong site.

Also nearly twice its ($22m) valuation, the result is a boon for the vendor, BWT Trust.

Avari Capital sold 90 Crown Street for $65.1 million – a Wollongong office record.

It acquired the 2.73 hectare property at 73-75 Gipps Street in February 2003.

With 10,811 square metres and 311 car parks, it was developed in 1997 for BBC Hardware – which Bunnings bought in 2001.

Colliers’ James Wilson, Guillaume Volz, Simon Kersten and Taleah Thomas represented BWT Trust, closing an expressions of interest campaign six weeks ago.

Low yield reflects development upside

Based on the annual rent the hardware group was paying before it vacated in March – the $40m result reflects a 3.75 per cent yield.

It was offered this time with a five year lease to the commonwealth government.

After that, the property holds significant development upside, marketed for its potential to yield a high density residential based project.

Level 33, established in 1999 by Eddie Haddad, is believed to be considering that longer-term.

Elsewhere in Wollongong, the group is behind the proposed Atkinson & Kenny multi-building apartment complex at 30 Ellen St, Mid Town and and completed project, Skye Tower (story continues below).

Haben bought Wollongong Central in late 2021.

In Sydney, the group’s book includes residential developments at Arncliffe, Blakehurst and Fairfield and a Revesby business park.

Another record Wollongong deal

Mr Wilson said the transaction “reflects the land-rich nature of the retail investment class given the strategically located site features mixed use development potential.

“The transaction reflects the land-rich nature of the retail investment class given the strategically located site featured mixed use development potential,” Mr Wilson said.

The deal comes 14 months since Avari Capital banked $65.1m for a Wollongong office – the highest price paid for an asset of that type in the region.

Two years ago meanwhile, a consortium including pub operators the Laundy, Tindall and Young families outlaid c$11m for the Cabbage Tree Hotel freehold going concern.

Not long earlier, Haben acquired Wollongong Central from GPT for $402m while Elanor Investors Group picked up the town’s Warrawong Plaza for $136.25m.

That seller was Blackstone.

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Marc Pallisco

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