AMP grabs Gold Coast’s Brickworks Centre in $137.5m mall buy

The Brickworks Centre at Southport in Queensland.
The Brickworks Centre at Southport in Queensland.

AMP Capital’s unlisted Wholesale Property Fund has acquired a Gold Coast lifestyle shopping centre for $137.5 million in a move that will increase the fund’s retail weighting to almost 40%.

The multi-billion-dollar investment manager’s fund has quietly bought the 15,183sqm Brickworks Centre in the coast’s central business district of Southport, about 3km northwest of Surfers Paradise.

Anchored by majors Freedom, TK Maxx, King Furniture and Chemist Warehouse, the centre has more than 50 tenants. Most of the tenant contracts include annual rent rises of 4% to 5% in their lease agreements.

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The purchase consolidates AMP’s interest in retail and comes a month after AMP ­Capital bought the 26,000sqm ­Newcastle shopping centre, the Marketown, for $163 million on behalf of superannuation giant Sun­super.

The subregional centre, anchored by Coles, Woolworths, Big W, Officeworks and Dan Murphy’s, spanned two retail sites with an adjoining car park.

The wholesale property fund said in a statement the Southport purchase was funded by cash and the debt level would remain unchanged at zero.

The portfolio’s retail weighting, however, will increase from 31.4% to 39%.

Retail assets have continued to trade despite concerns over low wages growth and the imminent arrival of US giant Amazon in Australia.

The Gold Coast has benefited from an estimated $2.4 billion in new and upgraded infra­structure ahead of next year’s Commonwealth Games, which accelerated the development of a government-funded light rail system along the coast.

The southeast Queensland city is expected to be among Australia’s fastest growing regional cities in the coming year with a forecast population boost of 2.4%.

AMP also points to local planning changes that could benefit the site.

“In 2014, planning changes were implemented to encourage increased density in the Southport CBD,” the company notes.

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