Dexus offloads Brisbane office tower as workers return to the city
Property major Dexus has offloaded the Gold Tower in Brisbane for $285m, with buyer Marquette Properties bullish about the city’s outlook as investors back an office recovery.
The Brisbane-based Marquette Properties is one of the best-known property funds managers in the city and its purchase reflects its confidence in a return to central business districts.
The sale was struck at a 1.8 per cent premium to book value with Macquarie analysts saying it continued a run of office purchases that had been struck at a slim 1 per cent premium to book value.
It joins offices in Sydney and Melbourne that have been purchased at pricing at pre-coronavirus crisis levels, which is providing support for the pricing of major listed trusts.
“This strength in capital demand for office assets will provide support for June 2021 asset valuations, and in turn book net tangible assets,” Macquarie said.
Marquette targets strategic assets in Queensland and the investment group has raised funds from wealthy investors to back the purchase.
“As a Brisbane-based and focused investment firm we are thrilled to be acquiring one of Australia’s best known office towers. We are acquiring a great asset with an excellent tenancy profile due to Dexus’s best-in-class management,” Marquette managing director Toby Lewis said.
“Despite the ongoing long-term uncertainty associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, we have enabled more than 150 Australian families to invest in 10 Eagle Street and look forward to delivering strong returns as Brisbane continues to grow as a city and a city to invest in,” he said.
Dexus said it had conditionally exchanged contracts to sell the building at 10 Eagle Street, with the asset sold out of its Dexus Office Partnership, in which Dexus holds a half interest, alongside its Canadian fund partner CPP Investment Board.
“This transaction continues our asset recycling strategy, realising value for both Dexus and our Dexus Office Partner while reducing our exposure to the Brisbane market,” Dexus chief investment officer, Ross Du Vernet said. “It also provides us with an excellent opportunity to focus our leasing, asset management and development capabilities on advancing our city-shaping development project at Waterfront Brisbane.”
The sale will realise proceeds of $285m, with Dexus’s net sale proceeds being used to repay debt, continuing a run of deals by the company.
Dexus last month took full control of a $1.1bn tower in Sydney’s CBD by setting up a new funds management alliance with a Singaporean company that will take a one-third interest in the building.
In that play, the Singaporean company teamed with Dexus to buy the interest in the premium 1 Bligh Street property from super fund-backed Cbus Property for about $375m.
In the Brisbane transaction, which was flagged by The Australian in January, Marquette Properties is likely to focus on repositioning the well-known Gold Tower.
Dexus is selling the 34 level A-grade building, that sits in the heart of the city’s Golden Triangle and which will benefit from infrastructure upgrades, as it focuses on the $2.1bn transformation of the Eagle Street Pier and Waterfront Place precinct into a premium business and leisure precinct.
Justin Bond of Knight Frank and Anthony Ott and Ben Azar of Savills handled the sale.
The building at 10 Eagle Street is a 34-level, 27,800sq m, A-grade office asset, located in the centre of Brisbane’s Golden Triangle and was built in 1978.
At the end of 2020 the property was 92 per cent occupied with a WALE of 2.9 years. Key tenants include AEMO, Wilson Parking and Accenture.