Hines snares Honda sites


Hines paid $14.6 million for the Campbellfield property. Image (and top): Google Street View.

Hines, for its Asia Property Partners (HAPP) fund, has purchased two soon-to-be vacated north Melbourne industrial investments from Honda.

In the biggest deal, the US based private investment house is understood to be paying c$68 million for the motoring giant’s headquarters of over 40 years, 85-95 Sharps Road, on the north east corner of Keilor Park Drive, Tullamarine.

Covering 8.1 hectares – opposite Melbourne Airport’s southern boundary – the property contains three large car parks, which along with a vacant tract, can be developed immediately.

Hines’ maiden Australian industrial investment in April included 128-138 Russell Street, Emu Plains.

It also includes a two storey office/warehouse which the Japanese manufacturer has utilised for divisions including spare parts and a Honda Australia Rider Training Centre (HART).

Honda was one of the first major commercial occupiers in the pocket – its site is also at the intersection of South Centre Rd, which about 100 metres away becomes the suburb of Melbourne Airport, part of which Melbourne Airport Corporation has in recent years been replacing with a business park.

Hines will repurpose 85-95 Sharps Rd as a multi-tenant last mile logistics hub.

Campbellfield block fetches $14.6m

Honda listed the Tullamarine property last year with another, in Campbellfield, occupied by its motorcycle, power equipment and marine divisions.

Hines has also purchased that property – 1954-1956 Sydney Rd – outlaying $14.6m.

On 1.29ha, it includes a large tract facing Merola Way, which can make way for more industrial product.

It also contains a prominent, freestanding two level office/warehouse and gated car park.

The holding, for which Honda paid $2.65m 31 years ago, is near the north east boundary of the ex-Ford manufacturing plant, which Pelligra and Qualitas are replacing with a business park, Assembly Broadmeadows (story continues below).

The ex-Ford manufacturing plant in Campbellfield is making way for a business park.

The purchases come four months since Hines, for HAPP, made its first Australian industrial investment – a $211.5m east coast portfolio offered by Pipeclay Lawson.

“Industrial vacancy rates are at record lows and we are seeing double-digit rental growth coming through across most major markets in Australia, which is continuing to drive land values higher, despite inflation.” Hines Industrial director, Alysia Reilly, said.

“These latest acquisitions give us strong geographic diversification across our core East Coast markets and a good balance of secure income and value-add opportunities in the portfolio,” she added.

Honda still holds sites

CBRE’s Rory Hilton and Chris O’Brien marketed the Campbellfield and Tullamarine properties.

With the sales, Honda will consolidate bike, motorcycle and power equipment with the car division to a new base – bringing together the departments for the first time since 1991.

For months until recently, it was speculated that new headquarters might be 182-200 Hume Highway, Somerton – and a 12.42ha property the group acquired for $12m from Goodyear in 2008, part of which accommodates a HART and the lawnmower production business, Honda Manufacturing Australia.

Honda also controls a bike training facility on 10.4ha at 82-112 Colchester Rd, Kilsyth, in Melbourne’s east.

It is set to vacate Campbellfield and Tullamarine by early next year.

“Throughout the Asia Pacific region, we are seeing sustained demand for Hines’ next-generation facilities and we intend to strategically invest and deliver this type of product,” Hines Asia Pacific chief executive officer, Chiang Ling Ng, said.

“These new Australia acquisitions are adding further scale to Hines’ growing industrial and logistics platform in the region and help expand our investors’ exposure to the dynamic logistics sector across Asia Pacific,” she added.

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Marc Pallisco

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