Supersize Bunnings sells for $100m
The Bunnings at 221-239 Old Geelong Road in Hoppers Crossing.

Supersize Bunnings sells for $100m

A little-known investor has splashed about $100 million on a supersized Bunnings hardware store, touted as one of the largest in the Wesfarmers-owned network.

The green and red branded shed sold along with an Amart Furniture store to a company called ESCB Holdings, owned by Guirong Zhang, a caveat attached to the property shows.

The deal negotiated by Burgess Rawson is expected to settle next week.

The 21,670 square metre shed and 4809 sq m furniture store are on a large 55,000 sq m site at 221-239 Old Geelong Road in Hoppers Crossing, in Melbourne’s west.

The properties return a combined annual income of $4,284,186, which would suggest a sharp yield under 5 per cent for the transaction.

Zhang is little known in property circles but was reported as purchasing a Castle Cove house for $15 million in November last year and has some business association with property trader Jacky Cheung.

Beau Coulter, who negotiated the sale with colleagues Billy Holderhead, Yosh Mendis and Zomart He, would not comment on or disclose the final sale price. It was listed with expectations around $100 million.

He said recent interest rate rises were not dampening investors’ interest in large format assets.

“People are looking for properties with long weighted average lease expiry (WALE). Money is moving out of the stock market and residential property, which has seen changes to tenancy laws,” Coulter said.

Investors, rattled by rising rates and stock market volatility, are shifting focus to high-growth assets with fixed annual increases and attractive net lease structures to stable national tenants.

Across town in the outer eastern suburbs, developer Troon Group and financiers MaxCap are hoping to tap into that enthusiasm by putting the Chirnside Lifestyle Centre on the market.

The companies have developed the site in less than two years into a large-format retail centre after buying the block in 2020 from German supermarket giant Kaufland, after the retailer abruptly aborted its attempt to take on the local supermarket oligopoly.

Kaufland ended its brief foray into Australia by offloading nine prime holdings around the country. Three former Kaufland sites in Queensland were recently sold by developer Gordoncorp. It built the Burleigh Home and Life centre on one, which fetched $72.5 million.

The 11,000 sq m Chirnside centre, expected to be completed in November, is pre-leased to national retailers with a WALE of 7.7 years and is likely to fetch about $40 million. Colliers and Stonebridge Property Group are managing the sale.

Troon’s managing director Tom McInerney said the centre was fully leased 12 months ahead of his expectations. Retailers who took leases include Harris Scarfe, Chemist Warehouse and Baby Bunting.