Canberra’s Cataldo Group, led by the family of the same name, has bought the National Farmers Federation headquarters in Barton for an impressive $7.71 million.
Cataldo Group’s Brisbane Avenue Holdings beat a large field of buyers from across Australia and overseas, according to Colliers International director of capital markets and investment services, Matthew Winter.
He said the interest and eventual sales result reflected the high demand for ACT commercial property, especially anything in the Parliamentary Triangle.
”Everyone wants to own an asset in that part of the ACT, particularly institutional owners,” Mr Winter said.
He said that in the first 24 hours on the market, Colliers received nearly 50 inquiries and the campaign achieved a record participation rate with 19 expressions of interest lodged.
“With 100 per cent occupancy, a recently completed comprehensive refurbishment program, and its prime location in the in-demand suburb of Barton, we expected interest in NFF House to be strong, but the response was like nothing I have experienced,” Mr Winter said.
He said the result showed the scarcity of properties in the ACT at the moment, and what people were prepared to pay for good quality assets.
”It’s a really good reflection on the activity of the last year in that there weren’t a lot of opportunities for buyers at all ends of the market with COVID, but those that did come up and were quality properties were really strongly contested,” he said.
Canberra, with such a stable market, was seen as a safe haven for investment, ”and that’s why demand for the ACT last year went through the roof”.
The on-market sale of NFF House also bucked the growing trend towards off-market transactions.
It is believed the purchasers are happy to acquire such a prestigious building, but the site itself also has enormous redevelopment potential.
NFF House has floor space of 1,836 square metres and sits on a landholding of 2,986 square metres which includes 42 dedicated car spaces.
It has dual frontage including onto one of Barton’s most highly trafficked thoroughfares. NFF House’s neighbours include major Commonwealth Departments and leading national organisations and companies.
The former owner is NFF House Unit Trust, a conglomerate of 14 separate agricultural organisations.
The building is leased to eight industry associations including the National Farmers’ Federation and the Cattle Council, and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority.
The Cataldo family owns a portfolio of Canberra properties, and in 2018 sold the Woden Centre in Phillip for $8.1 million.