Sentinel pays $29.5m for Melbourne homemaker centre

Sentinel Property Group has paid $29.5 million for City West Plaza

Brisbane-based Sentinel Property Group has made a second foray into the Victorian retail market, buying City West Plaza in Melbourne’s western suburbs.

Sentinel paid $29.5 million for the Sunshine North homemaker centre, two years after it acquired its first Melbourne property – a retail property on Bourke St in Melbourne’s CBD for $20 million.

The 24,885sqm centre is anchored by a Harvey Norman outlet, with other tenants including Beds n Dreams and KFC, and has parking for 803 cars. Harvey Norman has a 10-year lease to 2022 at City West Plaza, with further options, and provides more than 40% of the centre’s income.

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Sentinel owns 36 properties worth around $1 billion across Australia and recently bought the Geraldton Homemaker Centre in Western Australia and Nowra House & Home centre in New South Wales, but has so far remained relatively quiet in Victoria.

City West Plaza is anchored by a Harvey Norman store

City West Plaza is anchored by a Harvey Norman store

The group’s managing director Warren Ebert says the City West Plaza purchase is the first step in adding more Victorian assets to its portfolio of industrial, retail, office, land and tourism properties.

“We have been actively looking to expand our presence in Victoria for some time but our focus has been on ensuring we secure the right property in which we can add significant value, in line with our proven buying strategy,” Ebert says.

We are determined to stay ahead of the pack by acquiring properties that are not always seen as fashionable by others

“We believe there is a lot of potential to capitalise on the solid underlying fundamentals of City West Plaza. The centre has a strong national tenancy profile, underpinned by anchor tenant Harvey Norman, is located directly opposite the landmark first ever Bunnings Warehouse in Australia, and has exposure to some 70,000 vehicles per day on Ballarat Rd.”

A capital raising to fund the City West Plaza purchase closed oversubscribed, with Ebert saying investors continue to see value in less trendy retail assets.

City West Plaza is Sentinel Property Group's second Victorian acquisition

City West Plaza is Sentinel Property Group’s second Victorian acquisition

“We are determined to stay ahead of the pack by acquiring properties that are not always seen as fashionable by others,” Ebert says.

“However, we don’t just buy properties because they are out of fashion but for their underlying fundamentals and future growth potential and this is certainly the case with City West Plaza, given its size and prominent positioning within the Melbourne metropolitan Ring Rd.”