The NSW Farmers Association has more than doubled its money after selling its Sydney headquarters for $22 million to local developers.
The association, which has about 8000 members, purchased the property at 35 Chandos Street, St Leonards in Sydney’s local north shore, for $5.6 million in 2011 and spent about $5.2 million refurbishing the property.
“At the time the board saw benefits in buying property because it encouraged people to take a long-term view,” association chief executive Matt Brand said.
“It stopped short-term thinking. People would often say we need some funds so let’s just sell some shares. With property it’s less liquid so we couldn’t do that.”
Over the six years the association received income from co-tenants in the building, and with the sale has made a capital gain of more than $11 million.
It was a very strong result for the association which has been advocating for planning and land reform for its farming constituents.
The association bought what was then a distressed property asset from the corporate recovery division at PKF Chartered Accountants at a time when the market was struggling.
It had also started buying other properties that year including two industrial buildings in Sydney for just over $24 million and an office building in the same north Sydney area for $12.2 million. It had looked at more than 12 property assets for acquisition in six months. The association used property advocates Prosper Group for its acquisition strategy and building refurbishment.
Mr Brand said that the timing was right to sell the Chandos Street property – especially given the demand from local developers wanting control of larger sites – and that the association would consider offers for its other properties.
“Our approach has always been that all our properties are for sale,” Mr Brand said, “We don’t want to get emotionally attached to a building and then be caught stranded with an asset.”
The association will lease back the Chandos Street property for another year with three one-year options after that.
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