GPT divests Wollongong Central after 25 years

Also today we are reporting Warrawong Plaza, near Wollongong Central, sold for $136.25 million.

Haben intends to seed a fund with a Wollongong shopping centre and office it is picking up for just over $400 million.

The vendor, GPT Group, has held the asset, Wollongong Central, since 1996.

It tried to sell it four years ago – just after a $68m renovation.

Wollongong Central while it was being extended in 2014.

The Haben deal reflects a slight increase on the $390m December, 2020, book value, which assumed a six per cent capitalisation rate.

It was appraised at $459.9m at the end of 2019.

GPT was represented by Colliers’ Lachlan MacGillivray who declined to comment.

Also today we are reporting Elanor Investors Group paid Blackstone $136.25m for the Warrawong Plaza, about seven kilometres away.

Coincidentally, that asset will also seed a fund.

Wollongong Central

Wollongong Central comprises Crown Central, which was completed in 1975, and picked up by GPT 25 years ago.

In 1998, the property giant acquired the neighbouring Crown Gateway, then 12 years old, from the Wollongong City Council.

In 2000, the manager merged the complexes via a pedestrian bridge and renamed it (story continues below).

Wollongong Central includes a 12 level office.

The asset has been held by the GPT Wholesale Shopping Centre Fund for 14 years.

Tenanted to about 212 groups, it contains c55,000 square metres of gross lettable area – inclusive of a 12 storey office.

There are also 2104 car parks.

The substantial site has significant development upside with GPT previously proposing to fill the airspace with office and apartment towers.

Haben stocks up

The Wollongong Central sale comes four months since Haben, in partnership with JY Group, paid M&G Investments $225m – a price reflecting a 5.38pc yield – for Casey Central, in Melbourne’s Narre Warren.

Last year, the partnership spent $153m on The Pines shopping centre, 20 kilometres east of the Victorian capital.

Also in 2020, the joint venture acquired the Caloundra Shopping Centre, on the Sunshine Coast, for $97m.

The vendor of both these assets was Stockland.

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Marc Pallisco

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