Gold Coast Homemaker Centre’s $265m Sale Sets Benchmark

Appetite for large-scale retail investment has remained strong into the second half of the year with the record $265-million acquisition of a homemaker centre in the fast-growing northern Gold Coast region.

Taiwanese-backed developer Shayher Group picked up the 20.3ha Homeworld Helensvale from the Les Ansley family, which had partnered with Macpro Properties on the retail centre. 

Standing on a 20.3ha site, the homemaker hub has considerable development potential with 7.3ha of developable vacant land. Several stages are planned, including a high-density apartment project. 

With around 36,000sq m of retail space, the centre is home to 80 tenants including well-known brands including Beacon Lighting, Chemist Warehouse, Fantastic Furniture, JB Hi-FI, and The Good Guys.

The site is near the Pacific Highway, which experiences about 55 million vehicles annually.

Colliers’ Lachlan MacGillivray and Stewart Gilchrist, and Stonebridge Property Group’s Philip Gartland were appointed to broker the property, conducting an invitation-only international expression-of-interest campaign.

The sale represents the largest Queensland large-format retail transaction on record and the second largest in Australia.

Gartland said large-format malls had proven resilient assets during the past two years of upheaval in the retail sector.

“Large format retail has … probably (had)the strongest yield compression of all the retail sub-sectors during this time and … average gross face rents having remained stable over 2022,” Gartland said.

“Over the past few years, changing consumer behaviours and planning flexibility has allowed the tenancy mix within large format retail centres to evolve to suit both retailers and customers alike from both a convenience and flexible trading hour perspective. 

“Homeworld Helensvale is a very strong example of this evolution.”

For the Brisbane-based Shayher Group, the acquisition adds to a retail portfolio that includes Brisbane Quarter and W Brisbane as well as Pentridge in Melbourne. The developer’s interests also span commercial towers and residential projects.

The transaction comes after a record year in retail real estate deals nationally and for Queensland in 2021.  

Earlier this year fund manager IP Generation took a half stake in a sub-regional Gold Coast mall, Westfield Helensvale, along with additional land for $185 million in total.

Brisbane fund manager Sentinel emerged as the frontrunner to take over the largest shopping centre in Queensland’s Mackay region, Caneland Central, in a deal worth well more than $300 million.

The centre’s current owner, Lendlease, placed Caneland on the market in February, fewer than eight months after the region’s other major shopping centre, Mount Pleasant Centre, sold for $162.5m.

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