Greenpool Capital-Qualitas wins dash for Runaway Bay stake in $128m deal

Supplied Editorial Perron Group has sold a half stake in Runaway Bay Shopping Centre to
 Greenpool Capital and Qualitas for $128m

Perron Group has sold a half stake in Runaway Bay Shopping Centre to Greenpool Capital and Qualitas for $128m.

Perth’s Greenpool Capital has teamed with investment firm Qualitas to acquire a half stake in the Gold Coast’s Runaway Bay Shopping Centre from the Perron Group for $128m.

The deal comes as the run of major retail assets sales picks up pace and long-term owners are trading, confident that pricing is strong.

CBRE’s head of retail capital markets, Pacific, Simon Rooney, negotiated the off-market sale for the Perron Group, with the deal the latest indicator of strengthening buyer demand for high-quality subregional shopping centres.

“With record historical pricing being achieved for freestanding and neighbourhood centres, astute investors are shifting their focus to high-quality subregional assets,” Mr Rooney said.

“Joint venture opportunities with major institutional owners and managers are now also being actively pursued, particularly those offering future development upside.”

Greenpool Capital, which was set up in 2016 by Brad Osborne, also bought North Adelaide Village for $50m last year from the Makris Group, also in a joint venture with Qualitas.

The Runaway Bay deal was struck on a fully leased yield of 6.5 per cent.

The 42,862sq m subregional centre is one of the premier subregional shopping centres in southeast Queensland, benefiting from a diverse tenancy mix, with a focus on convenience, lifestyle and a necessity-based service and fresh food offer.

The subregional centre has a solid tenancy base, with major, national and chain tenants comprising 88 per cent of the space.

The centre is on a 124,700sq m site, which is underused and offers significant mixed-use development opportunities.

It is anchored by a strong triple supermarket offer of Woolworths, Coles and Aldi and discount department stores Big W and Target.

Mr Rooney noted that the key major tenants – Woolworths, Coles, and Big W – all performed well above industry benchmarks, and specialty tenant performance was also robust.

There had been a particularly strong run of subregional centre investment activity in Queensland, including the recent sales of the Mt Pleasant Centre in Mackay to Fawkner Property and Stockland Bundaberg to MA Financial for a combined total of $302m, he said.

Close to $1bn in additional major retail transactions are pending in southeast Queensland across sub­regional and larger regional centre categories.

Big assets in play include half interests in the Harbour Town Centre for the Lendlease-run APPF and QIC Property Fund’s stake in the strong-performing Westfield Helensvale. A Dexus-managed fund is also selling a 20 per cent interest in Gold Coast landmark Pacific Fair, with a rush of deals expected before Christmas.

“Investor interest in Queensland is being driven by strong retail expenditure and solid population growth in addition to robust and resilient asset performance, with Queensland’s retail sector having had less impact from Covid lockdowns,” Mr Rooney said.

The Runaway Bay sale follows Perron’s recent sale of Mirrabooka Square in Perth to Fawkner Property for $195m.

Qualitas global head of real estate Mark Fischer said there were “relative value opportunities in convenience-based retail centres, as the well flagged structural and cyclical resetting of rents interplay with yields available on these assets compared to those in other defensive sectors”.

Greenpool managing director Brad Osborne said buying Runaway Bay “builds on our strategy to invest in strong value-add, convenience based centres with tier one capital partners”.