ARA dives into Adelaide market with $150m Allianz Centre purchase

ARA Asset Management hopes to add to its porfolio of Australian properties by buying the Allianz Centre at 55 Currie Street, Adelaide for about $150 million.

Singaporean company ARA Asset Management is again looking to bolster its Australian empire and is targeting the purchase of Adelaide’s Allianz Centre for about $150 million as more institutions look to place funds in the South Australian capital.

Buying in Adelaide would suit ARA, as it has holdings across Australia and seeks properties where it can add value, either via repositioning or longer-term re­development.

The building, at 55 Currie St, is in the heart of the city’s western core precinct. It last changed hands for $81 million in 2011 when it was picked up by private syndicate Arc Equity Partners.

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The 12-storey tower has since been upgraded and has a tenant roster including the federal government, the South Australian government, Allianz Australia and Data Action.

The Adelaide tower spans a net leasable area of 26,200sqm and has floor plates of 1500-2580sqm and ARA could seek to take advantage of the large site in future, although it declined to comment.

The building has a light-filled central atrium, 1000sq m rooftop deck and 5578sqm land holding fronting both Currie St and Topham Mall.

JLL’s Jamie Guerra and Roger Klem and Colliers International’s Paul van Reesema, Alistair Mackie and Craig Shute, who are brokering the sale, also did not comment.

Allianz Centre

Adelaide’s Allianz Centre.

ARA is in talks to buy a $300 million office project in Sydney’s harbourfront suburb of Pyrmont. It is also in talks to buy a major development being undertaken by the Milligan Group and its private partners that will be occupied by French PR company Publicis.

ARA, which has more than 1300 staff in 21 cities in eight countries to manage its $40 billion property empire, runs a series of listed and unlisted trusts that invest locally.

The fund manager is stepping up its investment in Australia and last year snapped up a near 20% stake in the listed Cromwell Property Group for about $405 million. It already has a presence in direct markets, including Melbourne’s $600m Southgate complex.

Adelaide’s office market has been running hot. A venture between property executive Chris Lock and investment house Wingate in December bought another Adelaide office tower for about $103.5 million. The pair swooped on the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure head office in the Adelaide CBD that was sold by German group Real I.S.

The tower at 77 Grenfell St was picked up by the German manager for about $90m in 2011. The A-grade office building drew strong bidding and last year had interest from Singaporean trust Soilbuild REIT.

Adelaide’s CBD is drawing more global capital, with offshore entrants including Blackstone, Credit Suisse Asset Man­age­ment, AEP Investment Man­age­ment and Mapletree Investments.

Local institutional funds have also been entering the Adelaide CBD office market, with Centuria, Corval, and CBUS Property buying towers or development sites.

This article originally appeared on www.theaustralian.com.au/property.