A high-powered trio of Australian business leaders comprising David Gonski, Simon Mordant and John Curtis have enjoyed the fruits of the logistics property boom after selling a vacated Bunnings warehouse in South Sydney – bought for $16 million in 2015 – to Charter Hall for $70 million.
Mr Gonski, the recently departed chairman of ANZ, Luminis Partners co-founder Simon Mordant and former Allianz Australian chairman John Curtis are the three directors of South Central Sydney Pty Ltd, the vendor of the 1.9 hectare property 520-530 Gardeners Road in Alexandria.
Mr Gonski’s wife Orli Wargon ultimately holds 42.5 per cent of South Central Sydney, as does Mr Curtis and his family with the remaining 15 per cent held by Mr Mordant’s Mordant Properties.
The Charter Hall-managed $2 billion Core Logistics Partnership snapped up the property in an off-market deal with plans to convert it to a high-profile logistics or last mile delivery facility, given its close proximity to the CBD, Sydney Airport and Port Botany.
The acquisition is part of an emerging trend of retail-to-logistics conversions driven by the rise of e-commerce and the growing demand for fulfilment centres close to urban centres to ensure speedy delivery of goods.
In October last year, commercial landlord Dexus acquired Homemaker Prospect, a 25,770 square metres large-format retail centre near Blacktown, for about $65 million with the intention to convert it over time to industrial use.
Bunnings had four years left on its lease, but Charter Hall negotiated a lease surrender package with Bunnings who no longer need the facility (it has two other warehouses close by) to vacate immediately, The lump sum payment will provide the fund manager with an income stream whilst development plans are worked out for the site.
“The property provides excellent redevelopment options including the ability to develop a high-profile logistics or last mile facility under the current zoning,” said CLP fund manager, Simon Greig,
“South Sydney is one of the most sought-after industrial precincts in Australia given the access to major transport hubs, the Sydney CBD, port, airport and surrounding densified residential precincts,” said Mr Greig.
The acquisition follows CLP, a partnership between Charter Hall, Victorian Funds Management Corporation and Telstra Super, selling three warehouses in Melbourne’s west to GPT for about $127 million last week.
Charter Hall Group managing director and CEO David Harrison said the fund manager now owned an industrial and logistics portfolio exceeding $11 billion leased and a development pipeline exceeding $1.5 billion,
“Charter Hall will continue this 13 year strategy to expand our market share of the prime logistics sector for the benefit of our investors,” Mr Harrison said.
Charter Hall was introduced to the opportunity by Josh Charles of One Commercial.
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