‘Crown jewel’ of Wollongong hits the market, 90 Crown St offers rare investor opportunity

One of Wollongong’s landmark commercial buildings is up for sale, offering investors a rare opportunity to buy into the heart of the southern NSW city.

90 Crown St, one of Wollongong’s best known sites, and considered a “trophy asset”, offers ground level retail accommodation and six levels of office space, fully occupied by tenants including the federal government’s Services Australia and the NSW government’s Transport Department.

According to Knight Frank, who has taken the property to market, the seven-level A-Grade commercial office and retail complex has a total net lettable area of 9,171.6sq m on a 3,754.7sq m site.

The ground floor retail accommodation totals 1,703sq m and includes a tavern, while the six upper levels of quality office space total 7,468.3sq m. The building also has 160 car spaces over two levels.

According to reports, the property was bought for a record price for the region four years ago for more than $50 million.

90 Crown St, Wollongong. Picture: Supplied/KnightFrank

90 Crown St, Wollongong ha significant development potential. Picture: Supplied/Knight Frank

The property was previously purchased in 2016, for a gross sale price of $43.9 million, according to reports. At the time it set a record for the Wollongong commercial district of $4,786 per sqm.

Prior to that the property was bought for $30.7 million in 2005.

If the asset’s capital growth trajectory continues on that path, it could be expected the property might sell in the vicinity of around $65m.

The property is being taken to the market via an International Expressions of Interest campaign run by Knight Frank agents Ben Mostyn, Dominic Ong and Tyler Talbot on behalf of the vendor, Avari Capital Partners.

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“We describe this well-known property as the crown jewel of Wollongong – it’s Wollongong’s trophy asset,” Mr Mostyn said.

“For investors this property coming onto the market provides a rare opportunity to purchase a fully leased, A-Grade government-anchored quality asset in one of Australia’s strongest performing office markets.

“Its blue-chip covenant is a huge drawcard, with 100 per cent of the building’s office space occupied by government tenants. But its location is also attractive, being centrally located at the epicentre of Wollongong’s CBD and on the city’s best commercial block.

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According to reports, the property was bought for a record price four years ago for more than $50 million.

“This asset is positioned amongst the best retail and entertainment amenities Wollongong has to offer whilst also providing excellent access to the public transport network.

Tas Costi, from commercial buyers agency Costi Cohen said the address had broad appeal.

“It ticks a lot of boxes in terms of how it appeals to our client mandate for free hold office assets in this price range,” he said.

“It’s extremely appealing for those looking to capitalise on not just the income backed by a government tenant but also the future development upside.”

Mr Ong from Knight Frank added: “Intense competition for core assets in major CBD locations has led to significant capitalisation rate compression throughout Australian commercial office markets.

“Although buyer demand has expanded into metropolitan areas, core market yields in regional areas such as Wollongong provide real value.

“The property represents a considerable value-add opportunity for prospective purchasers to increase the underlying income of the asset through a potential addition to gross floor area, expanding the tenant offering and reinforcing the property’s status as the landmark building in Wollongong.”

The Expressions of Interest campaign will close at 4pm (AEDT) on Thursday, March 17.

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