Major Mackay properties expected to sell for millions

September 6, 2017

Melanie Plane | The Courier Mail

Millions of dollars worth of prime commercial property has hit the market in Mackay with property managers Sentinel listing two major sites.

After splashing $15.6 million and $8 million respectively to purchase Northpoint Homemaker Centre and Birch Carroll & Coyle cinema complex and office building back in 2012 and 2010, Sentinel Property Group (SPG) have decided to offload both properties.

With the Mackay economy experiencing a strong ‘up trend’ SPG managing director Warren Ebert said it was the right time to sell the assets.

“We have the Northpoint Homemaker Centre currently on the market along with another major retail centre in Ipswich. We are also selling the Birch Carroll & Coyle cinema complex and office building,” Mr Ebert said.

“We acquired Northpoint more than five years ago and it has turned out to be a very sound investment. The centre is fully leased and underpinned by leases to major tenants including The Good Guys, Snooze, BCF, Amart Sports and Super Cheap Auto.

“A number of major national Homemaker Centre transactions this year have highlighted the very positive market view of the large format retail sector.

“We think it’s a good time to sell a top performing asset such as Northpoint, especially with a limited number of retail investment opportunities in Queensland this year. BCC Mackay has been in our retail trust portfolio since June 2010 and we believe it’s also a good time to sell this asset.”

While the properties have only been on the market for about a fortnight, Mr Ebert said there had already an influx of interest from potential buyers with 65 enquiries about the Northpoint property alone.

He said as the region recovers, opportunities were getting harder to find in the Mackay area and with more positive news on the horizon economically, green shoots were starting to emerge in the property market.

“There is growing positivity about the local economy. Mackay will be one of the key regional centres to benefit from a lift in the resources sector, particularly if/when the Adani project gets under way,” he said.

“Once Adani happens you will see a lot of other projects get the go ahead in the Galilee Basin and it could be on for young and old. The region could be booming for the next two decades.

“Mackay house prices rebounded strongly over the June quarter, suggesting a sustained revival is in prospect. With steady rental prices over the past year, the local rental market is also showing clear signs of stabilising.

“These are all good signs for the Mackay property market. Finance continues to be a significant challenge for most buyers and in some instances impossible. This creates opportunities for Sentinel as we continue to receive support from financiers because of our solid track record in the area.”

Despite making the decision to sell the Northpoint and BCC properties, Mr Ebert said Sentinel certainly weren’t pulling out of the region and would continue to challenge the norm in terms of investment.

“Sentinel has been a major investor in Mackay/Central Qld now for many years and will continue to have a large footprint in the region,” he said.

“Sentinel has proudly run against the herd when it comes to our investment decisions. Where others see risk, we see opportunity. We buy where others fear to go and we have a track record of adding value to those properties and selling them to deliver a good return for our investors.

“If you are buying at or near the bottom of the market the chances of growth are very strong. Most others tend to buy near the top of the market after it has run strong for a few years.

“We have raised equity for a number of acquisitions in Mackay and have always had a strong level of interest from investors in these assets. With 56 successful properties trusts to date, investors have confidence that we have done our homework and will support us, with equity raising usually closing in a few hours.”

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