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Brisbane Airport’s $300m auto mall secures first dealership

March 23, 2017

An artist's impression of the auto mall at Brisbane airport that is set to open in 2020.

Brisbane Airport’s $300 million landmark auto mall project has signed up its first car dealership with major Toyota and Lexus dealer Sci-Fleet Group securing a gateway site in the 51-hectare automotive precinct.

Sci-Fleet is the first of many car dealerships the Brisbane Airport Corporation hopes to attract to its BNE Auto Mall, which is due to open in 2020.

The mall is being developed around a 2.5-kilometre testing track designed by motor-racing champion Mark Skaife and will also incorporate hotel accommodation, offices and other automotive businesses.

Mr Skaife, who has been promoting the auto mall concept to car manufacturers and dealers via a series of roadshows, said the ability to secure the number-one dealer brand in the market “spoke volumes” about the concept.

The racing track was designed by Mark Skaife.

The racing track was designed by Mark Skaife. Photo: Supplied

“Many of the car dealerships are in highly sought-after locations for residential development so selling these sites and moving to the airport precinct would be a logical step for them,” he told The Australian Financial Review.

The key selling point of the auto mall was the test track, he said.

“At the lowest level, the test track will allow someone to get the feel of a car in a safe environment while at the top end your Porsche or Ferrari owner will be able to do the highest-level test drive on a serious performance track,” Mr Skaife said.

Potential to raise the bar

John Tormey, BAC’s general manager for commercial businesses, said it was fitting to have the largest and most successful dealer for both Toyota and Lexus on board.

“We are delighted to have the Sci-Fleet Group join us on the first stage of the journey,’ Mr Tormey said.

Sci-Fleet Group principal Andrew Scifleet said the auto mall provided a genuine solution for the dealer market. “It offers the potential for us to continue to raise the bar in the experience we offer our guests long into the future,” he said.

The deal between BAC and Sci-Fleet was negotiated by JLL’s Ben Koop and Jacob Swan, who said they were “well progressed” in their discussions with other groups and expected to make further announcements in the coming months.

Approval to develop the mall was granted by the BAC board at the end of 2016. BAC acquired the 2700-hectare Brisbane Airport precinct from the federal government under a 50-year lease for $1.4 billion in 1997.

Major investors in BAC include Queensland government-owned QIC, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and Colonial First State Global Asset Management.

 

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