Asia comes calling for Queensland Woolworths stores

Woolworths Cornubia shopping centre in South East Queensland has been sold to an Asian investor for $38.25 million.

Asian interest in Queensland’s retail property market is heating up, with a private Asian investor acquiring the Woolworths Cornubia shopping centre in South East Queensland for $38.25 million.

The acquisition closely follows the sale of the Central Park Shopping Centre in Brisbane’s southern suburb of Calamvale to a private consortium of local and offshore Chinese investors for $9.65 million.

The transaction also follows Woolworths’ sale of the Woolworths and Masters centre in the Brisbane suburb of Everton Park to Singaporean real estate investment managers Rockworth Capital Partners for $70 million.

The sales of both the Cornubia and Everton Park centres are in line with Woolworths’ ongoing divestment of neighbourhood shopping centres.

As part of its capital management program, the underperforming supermarket giant appointed CBRE late last year to market several neighbourhood shopping centres.

Since then it has also sold two centres in Victoria – the Woolworths centre at Selandra Rise in Melbourne’s south for $20.13 million and the Woolworths centre at Seville for $20.19 million.

“New Coles and Woolworths centres are being well received and are achieving tight yields at or better than 6%,” CBRE’s Peter Rossi says.

“The purchasers are more often than not private investors who are capitalising on the very high deprecation benefits these assets offer, which make the income stream very tax effective.”

Banyo Village is anchored by a 20-year lease to Woolworths.

Banyo Village is anchored by a 20-year lease to Woolworths.

The newly-developed Woolworths Cornubia shopping centre, which is situated in Logan City in the South East Queensland growth corridor between Brisbane and the Gold Coast, was sold on a net yield of 6%, with the sale price reflecting $5707 per square metre.

CBRE says the expressions of interest campaign for the property, which comprises the new 5309sqm neighbourhood shopping centre along with a 1393sqm medical and professional centre, attracted bids from more than 10 local and offshore buyer groups.

The next test of investor interest in Queensland’s retail investment market will involve the Banyo Village neighbourhood shopping centre, which is also anchored by Woolworths.

Another newly-developed centre, the Banyo site was acquired from Woolworths by national building company Adco, which subsequently developed the neighbourhood centre based on a 20-year lease to the supermarket giant.

The centre, which is located 15km north-east of the Brisbane CBD, offers fully-leased net annual rental of about $2.07 million and a WALE of 15.1 years.

“The attraction for purchasers is the opportunity to secure an annuity-style income stream, underwritten by nondiscretionary, food-based retailers,” CBRE’s Joe Tynan says.

The Banyo centre is anchored by a 3960sqm Woolworths supermarket, with the balance of the centre leased to a complementary mix of 13 service, food and beverage tenants.