A heritage brewery yard in Sydney’s Chippendale, the last piece of the puzzle to the Central Park development and a symbol of the suburb’s working-class roots, has been bought by Melbourne-based IP Generation for $16.5 million.
The heritage property, which was sold by Frasers and Sekisui House, is the first Sydney asset for the investment vehicle, through one of its five syndicated trusts, which is run by former Impact Investment Group chief executive officer Chris Lock.
Property records show the discreet sale of 5 Central Park Avenue recently settled.
Since the Kent Brewery closed in 2003, the building, on about 2400 square metres of freehold land, has been vacant while Central Park, a large residential and retail development, was built around it.
IP Generation has submitted plans for a $44 million refurbishment and if approved, it will get the green light to convert the heritage building into 6000sq m of net lettable office space with 30 basement car parks.
Award-winning architect Tzannes, the firm that designed the precinct’s masterplan, has been retained to see through the final phase of the refurbishment.
“It was hard to pass up the opportunity really, given it is such an iconic project. It feels like it could be an asset that’s publicly-owned given its heritage and its prime location in Chippendale,” IP Generation’s Chris Lock said.
The building fits the bill for the opportunistic investor looking to add significant value to commercial property.
The property’s completion value is expected to be about $120 million, or $20,000 a square metre.
“We consider our strategy more akin to a private equity investor with each asset we acquire having its own unique strategy and capital structure,” Mr Lock said.
He said the project also fitted in with the type of tenants they would be trying to attract in the next few months – emerging, high-growth businesses particularly in the tech or creative industries.
In another deal recently, IP Generation bought a shopping centre, Corio Central, in Victoria from Vicinity Centres at a 3.8 per cent discount to book value.
Late last year, in a joint venture with Melbourne-based investment firm Wingate, it also acquired an A-grade Adelaide office tower at 77 Grenfell Street for $103.5 million.
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