Marketplace Gungahlin has hit the market with a price guide exceeding $400 million.
Currently owned by property group Vinta, the high price has been set on the back of a substantial period of growth for the retail industry and recognition that Gungahlin is one of the fastest-growing regions in Australia.
The centre features “major tenants” Woolworths, Aldi, Kmart and Big W, alongside seven “mini-majors” and 109 specialty tenancies with a specialty productivity rate 19 per cent above the industry-wide recognised averages.
The Gungahlin shopping centre was developed in 1998 when the Gungahlin district had a population of approximately 20,000. The centre was then extended and refurbished in 2006 and again in 2016. The most recent extension, which includes the new Aldi supermarket, is expected to be completed by the end of the 2022/23 financial year.
Today, the centre spans 40,023 sqm and caters to more than 70,000 people in the Gungahlin district.
Current and future land releases will increase the population to an estimated 187,560 people by 2031.
JLL Property will handle the sale of the shopping centre, but CBRE will lead the expressions of interest process. CBRE’s Head of Retail Capital Markets, Pacific, Simon Rooney, said that the price represented a record year for Australian shopping centre investment activity.
“Marketplace Gungahlin is one of the best performing, high growth sub-regional assets to come to market in many years, with a thriving major tenancy profile and robust specialty component, trading at well above industry averages,” Mr Rooney said.
“A record $12.7 billion in Australian retail assets were transacted last year. That momentum has continued into 2022, with the comparative return profile for retail investments and significant asset value rebasing marking the retail sector as a compelling investment proposition.”
A 7125 sqm block in the Belconnen Town Centre sold at the beginning of March for $20.5 million. Canberra’s Geoscience HQ office building in Symonston is expected to fetch more than $360 million and could break Territory records. In 2018, the Canberra Outlet Centre in Fyshwick sold for $135.1 million.
Gungahlin Community Council President Peter Elford described the news Vinta is selling the centre as “surprising” considering how engaged with the community council they have been. He believes the legacy they will leave in Gungahlin has mainly been a positive one.
“I think Vinta has done a great job in developing the anchor facility for Gungahlin. They’ve had a series of big upgrades at different times to expand it, which have largely kept track with development in the area,” Mr Elford said.
“It will be really interesting to see the level of interest in the market because I think nothing tests how well a town centre is doing than opportunities to invest in it.”
Mr Elford was hopeful that future owners would commit to retaining existing tenants and responding to the current demands of the local community.
“There’s a demand for more retail variety. We’ve got plenty of supermarkets and plenty of entry-level retailers, but we’d like to see a richer set of more expansive retailers,” he said.
“As we are entering into our third and fourth generation as a Canberra district, there’s a level of maturity in the people and therefore in the commercial outlets and retailers.
“I’d just like to make sure that whoever takes it on understands that we’re continuing to be a growing district and we are always looking for more opportunities to keep it local.”
The expressions of interest campaign is scheduled to close Thursday, 12 May 2022.