DOMAIN CENTRAL SETTLES FOR $ 130m
ONE of Australia’s largest institutional fund managers, Queensland Investment Corporation, has bought the Domain Central shopping complex for more than $ 130 million.
The transaction, one of the biggest in Townsville’s retail market, is considered a huge vote of confidence in Townsville and its retail market.
Mayor Jenny Hill said it was good to see Townsville was on the radar of large national investors and was hopeful it was a sign of a turning point for the economy.
“I think it’s showing we have probably seen the worst of it and that we are starting to see some investment back into the region,” Cr Hill said. “I hope this is the first of a series of major investments coming to our city.”
QIC Global Real Estate managing director Steven Leigh confirmed the deal settled this week.
Mr Leigh said the acquisition was one of several by the co company’s’ recently established QIC Active Retail Property Fund, created to build a portfolio of defensive, conveniencebased neighbourhood and subregional shopping centres and dominant high- quality lifestyle bulky goods centres.
The Active Retail Property Fund, seed funded by large institutional investors including superannuation funds, recently acquired the Marsden Park shopping centre south of Brisbane and Bundaberg’s Hinkler Central Shopping Centre.
Colliers International Townsville managing director Peter Wheeler said the deal was a “huge vote of confidence” in Townsville at a time of low confidence.
“Organisations and funds like this don’t spend this sort of money without extensive due diligence and having some confidence the asset has a future,” he said.
“I It’s’ a bi big shoth in the arm, in my opinion, for the confidence in the Townsville market.”
Mr Leigh said the shopping centre benefited from excellent exposure and accessibility and its performance and location within a vibrant and growing regional hub made it a prime acquisition.
“It will also benefit from the recently announced development scheme for the 97ha Townsville City Waterfront Priority Development Area that will see up to $ 1.9 billion in new developments,” he said.
Domain Central, developed on 16ha at Duckworth St, Mount Louisa, by the Lancini group in 2005, comprises a gross lettable area of 48,706 square metres with parking for about 1430 cars, making it the largest bulky goods centre in Queensland and the fourth largest in Australia.
Tenants include national retailers Nick Scali, Snooze, Pillow Talk, Forty Winks, BCF, JB Hi- Fi, The Good Guys and Freedom Furniture.
Mr Leigh said the initial proposed plan for Domain Central was to enhance the existing centre and extend its well- established retail mix.
QIC, a government- owned corporation formed in 1991, is one of Australia’s largest institutional fund managers. It has developed a big portfolio of dominant regional shopping centres and CBD commercial buildings throughout Australia.
TOWNSVILLE couple Gareck and Lauren Packer are the proud new owners of one of the city’s oldest buildings at 181 Flinders St.
The two- level masonry brick building, built in 1886, will serve as the business premises for Mr Packer’s award- winning technology business, GP One Consulting, as well as an investment for the couple’s self- managed superannuation fund.
Mr Packer will relocate GP One Consulting into the property’s top floor and lease out its 150sq m ground floor area, which most recently was used as a restaurant.
“We are looking at expanding the business and have been keeping our eyes on the property market,” Mr Packer said.
“Now is a good time to buy. The price ( on the property) was reduced twice before we made an offer.
“Not being emotionally attached to a purchase, we were able to get a good price.”
The heritage- listed property sold for $ 570,000 through Ray White Commercial. Ray White agent Troy Townsend believed the property would be worth a lot more in years to come as the city area was revitalised
I think it’s great they are going to bring some life back to a 130- year- old building RAY WHITE AGENT TROY TOWNSEND
through developments such as the proposed Integrated Stadium and Entertainment Centre and the new Townsville Waterfront Priority Development Area development scheme.
“This sale is another example of the trend we have been seeing in the last couple of years which is business owners taking advantage of low interest rates and soft property prices to acquire their own premises,” Mr Townsend said.
“I think it’s great they are going to bring some life back to a 130- year- old building. I think it will be worth a lot more in years to come.”
Mr Packer started GP One Consulting in 2009, specialising in spatial data services, application development, mobile deployment and enterprise solution architecture.
The company consults to sectors including the sugar and wine- growing industries providing information systems to improve management of harvesting and production.
GP One, in conjunction with Queensland disaster management software company QIT Plus, developed an app which last year won the Global Disaster Resilience App Challenge run by international mapping technology giant Esri and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction.
The Guardian Evacuations app links people fleeing natural disasters with nearby evacuation centres, displaying centre locations and details, as well as real- time traffic, weather, flood and fire information to help users determine the safest routes.
It is a far cry from 181 Flinders St which was developed in the 1880s as part of a series of substantial two- level buildings along the then- emerging commercial trading strip.
The property was built for chemists Atkinson and Powell and has had many uses including for a dentist, a bookmaker, a watchmaker and as a performance area for former Stage Door Theatre.
SUPER PURCHASE: GP One Consulting’s Gareck Packer and wife Lauren.