MasterCard office headlines surge of Sydney sales

Anton Real Estate Partners is selling 72 Christie St.
Anton Real Estate Partners is selling 72 Christie St.

Offshore buyers are setting a cracking pace buying office blocks across Sydney’s suburbs and major centres in NSW but local groups have also bought up in the latest $300 million worth of transactions.

In the largest purchase, Singapore’s UOL Group has picked up a St Leonards office building from Proprium Capital Partners for about $154.52 million, with the deal showing a record 4.9% yield for the area.

The purchase of the MasterCard facility at 72 Christie St, St Leonards, came after a campaign by Knight Frank’s Ben Schubert, Tyler Talbot and Dominic Ong and JLL’s Simon Storry and Paul Noonan.

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UOL is better known locally as a hotel group and last year bought Melbourne’s Hilton South Wharf for $230m but it has been looking to diversify into commercial assets.

The building sits on a large 2815sqm site and is leased to Mastercard for 10 years and comprises about 11,259sqm across eight levels.

Proprium teamed with local business Anton Real Estate Partners to buy the building for $76 million in early 2017 and then repositioned it, securing Mastercard as the whole building tenant.

The Christie St building also benefits from the significant infrastructure investment underway in the area as it is near St Leonards station and the forthcoming Crows Nest Metro Station.

While UOL is the owner and operator of a hospitality portfolio it runs under the Pan Pacific and Park Royal brands it says the acquisition is in line with plans to diversify in Australia and to strengthen recurring income streams.

Meanwhile, in Wollongong a private offshore purchaser has swooped on the offices at 90 Crown Street, picking it up from developer Castlerock for $50.38 million.

The deal was brokered by Knight Frank’s Talbot, Ong, Benjamin Mostyn and James Mulcair and MMJ’s Geoff Jones and Travis Machan.

The building in the heart of Wollongong’s CBD is a fully leased A Grade office complex. Almost 80 per cent of income comes from government tenants and the building had a 3.5-year weighted average lease expiry.

The 9172sqm building has parking for 160 vehicles and the buyer could capitalise on plans to expand the building by 2063sqm.

The sale marks a record for Wollongong, beating the previous sale of 43 Burelli St that went for $46.1 million last year.

Mostyn says 90 Crown St attracted significant interest from both local and offshore investors, receiving five bids from offshore and local parties.

“The sale demonstrates the attractiveness of the region for investors seeking premium commercial properties. We are continuing to see increasing interest from investors in Wollongong, particularly from offshore investors seeking higher yielding investments,” he says.

But locals are also active. MTAA Super last week picked up the One Hundred Broadway complex in Sydney from Impact Investment Group for about $70 million.

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