Sentinel buys Mackay’s Caneland Central for $280m

December 8, 2022

Duncan Evans | The Courier Mail

Caneland Central has entered a new era in its storied history with real estate investment firm Sentinel Property Group snapping up the iconic destination for $280m.

Sentinel takes control of the 65,964sq m retail mecca from Lendlease and has pledged a suite of improvements, including a renewable energy upgrade through the installation of a roof mounted solar system.

The centre holds 202 tenants, including a Myer store, and serves a catchment area of more than 150,000 people.

Sentinel CEO Warren Ebert said it dominated retail from Townsville to Rockhampton.

“Like Casuarina Square (in Darwin), Caneland Central completely dominates its market,” Mr Ebert said.

“Every man, woman and child in Mackay comes to Caneland four times a month.

“You could never duplicate this centre and you also cannot find another 14ha site like this in the city, let alone even close to the city.”

Mr Ebert also said the centre, which first opened in 1979, would thrive alongside Mackay’s expected future growth.

“The trade area population of the centre is around 154,110 persons which is projected to grow to around 183,410 persons by 2036,” he said.

“Bernard Salt, one of Australia‘s leading social commentators, recently forecast Mackay to be in the Top 20 sized cities in Australia by 2054.”

Lendlease placed Caneland on the market in February and early reports valued the property, which fronts the blue Pioneer River, at between $300m and $320m.

The property group, which also owns office and industrial properties, is betting big on retail.

Earlier in the year, Sentinel bought Darwin’s Casuarina Square shopping centre for $418m.

Lendlease fund manager Anne MacSporran said Caneland had been a strong performer for her company.

“The centre has been a strong performer for APPF Retail due to its mix of retail, lifestyle and dining and core position at the heart of Mackay’s local community,” she said.

“Despite recent market volatility, the outlook for Australian retail remains positive, with sales remaining robust post the pandemic.”

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