Opportunistic investment in Far North QLD
October 18, 2017
During the last quarter, Sentinel has continued to grow its investments in the regional office sector with our latest acquisition a fully-leased, four-level commercial office building in Cairns for $8.5 million.
The new office property at 139 Grafton Street leased to Queensland Health is part of the Sentinel Regional Office Trust, which is a diverse portfolio of regional office assets.
This is our second Cairns purchase after last year’s acquisition of the DFO Cairns retail complex, which has since gone from strength to strength. Vacancies in the centre are at an all-time low and the complex has attracted some terrific national brand tenants with leading fashion brands such as Collette, Edge and Oakley opening outlets during August/September.
In June this year, 21 of the centre’s 57 retailers that report turnover figures, had their best month of the year so far. Another 11 had their best month excluding the busy post-Christmas/January period.
DFO Cairns was struggling when acquired by the group in mid-2016. In line with its opportunistic buying strategy, Sentinel saw value where others did not and has worked hard to reposition the property. Centre improvements at DFO Cairns over the past year include new signage, painting and lighting, playground equipment and indoor plants, bus stop upgrades and providing free Wi-Fi access for all shoppers. Major capital works investments including a recently completed mall straightening project and the construction of a new outdoor food and entertainment precinct are well underway.
DFO has been boosted by a surge in tourism in the Cairns region with the Port of Cairns one of the nation’s busiest cruise destinations. Shuttle buses link DFO Cairns to the cruise ship terminal and have proven very popular with more than 100 passengers a day visiting the centre when ships are docked.
Our marketing initiatives have also contributed to the success of DFO Cairns including a television commercial between June 26 and July 29 promoting the centre’s range of leading retailers and bargains on offer.
The overall shopping experience at DFO is now world class and there continues to be an influx of domestic and international visitors.
Sentinel has been an active buyer and seller in the current market as we explore opportunities to maximise returns for our investors.