Chinese add $48m Arena centre to shopping list

The Arena Shopping Centre in Officer sold to Chinese investors for $48 million.
The Arena Shopping Centre in Officer sold to Chinese investors for $48 million.

Chinese investors are tightening their grip on Victoria’s shopping centre market, with the Arena Shopping Centre in Melbourne’s south-east the latest to land in their hands.

A Shenzhen buyer paid $48 million for the Officer centre, bringing Chinese investment in Victorian shopping centres to more than $380 million over the last 12 months.

Among the recent sales, Chinese investors picked off Springhill Shopping Centre for $43 million in December, Pakington Strand Shopping Centre for $31.8 million in October and grabbed Lara Village Shopping Centre and Civic Square Shopping Centre in Croydon for about $30 million each in the 12 months prior.

Commercial Insights: Subscribe to receive the latest news and updates

CBRE’s Mark Wizel, Justin Dowers and Kevin Tong negotiated the Arena sale after an expressions of interest campaign.

Dowers says the Chinese money was too strong for local buyers and Sydney-based institutions.

“The centre’s strategic corner position has always ensured a strong trade performance, which ultimately underpinned a huge amount of interest in the asset,” he says.

“We were delighted to see such wide ranging interest in the centre, which translated into a number of offers and a shortlist of four parties.”

Arena Shopping Centre, situated on the corner of Princes Highway and Cardinia Rd, is anchored by a 4100sqm Woolworths supermarket and BWS on a 20-year lease.

Also in the centre are 25 specialty retailers, including a freestanding McDonald’s restaurant and a Caltex service station, both on long-term leases. The centre draws an income of $2.65 million annually, indicating a sale yield of 5.38%.

Wizel and Dowers say the previously oversupplied retail market in Melbourne’s south-east has come full circle.

“Only a few years ago, there were questions being raised around oversupply of retail centres in Pakenham itself but this part of Melbourne has just gone from strength to strength and, if anything, there is a widely accepted view in planning that more retail floor area is needed to service the booming population,” Wizel says.