Hills council outlays $105m for shopping centre

QIC owns the 112,000 square metre Castle Towers shopping centre (shaded green), opposite Castle Mall (marked).

In a tactical play, the Hills Shire has purchased north west Sydney’s Castle Mall for $105 million.

QIC sold Castle Mall for $105 million.

The buyer owns a neighbouring car park and medical centre and its addition of the retail asset, on 7866 square metres at 4-16 Terminus Street, Castle Hill, allows it to master-plan a major mixed-use project with structures up to 70 metres – or c25 storeys – high.

The deal was struck at a particularly low yield – 4.1 per cent – with QIC.

Upon settlement, the asset will boost council’s coffers to the tune of $4.3m per annum.

Stonebridge’s Philip Gartland and Lincoln Blackledge with McVay Real Estate’s Dan McVay were the agents.

The acquisition comes seven years since the council sold Jean Nassif’s Top Place a 1.4 hectare development site in the immediate area for $140m, now the Skyview Towers complex.

Spotlight Group also recently unveiled plans for a $500m mixed-use project with a hotel on a 2.2ha former Masters outlet at 21-23 Victoria Avenue, in the suburb.

4.1 per cent yield

QIC Real Estate managing director Michael O’Brien described the deal as a pleasing result for its members (story continues below).

“The property was highly sought after and resulted in a very competitive bidding response from about a dozen buyers, ranging from institutions, private investors, developers and syndicators,’ he added.

“As an active real estate manager, QIC is always strategically re-assessing its holdings, seeking to position…funds to capture optimal growth and return outcomes for our clients,” according to the executive.

“In alignment with our long-held fund strategies, we continue to execute on market opportunities which drive strong performance for our clients, and this divestment further showcases our ability to deliver successful transactions.

“QIC continues to be focused on activating its retail-anchored mixed-use town centre masterplan for Castle Towers [a 112,000 sqm shopping centre on a site with almost a kilometre of street frontage opposite Castle Mall].

“As Castle Mall doesn’t not form part of this masterplan, it was surplus to our needs”.

Castle Mall was jointly held by the QIC Property Fund and QIC Town Centre Fund.

Castle Hill is about 30kms from town.

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Marc Pallisco

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