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$101m Macquarie Park sale further reinforces Centuria’s strategy

Unlisted property investment manager Centuria Property Funds Limited (Centuria), will soon put to investor vote the $101 million sale of its 80 Waterloo Road and 16 Byfield Street properties in Sydney’s Macquarie Park.

The proposed purchaser is an experienced local development group with a number of significant projects in Sydney and Melbourne and the sale is conditional on a positive vote by the fund investors.

Centuria purchased the properties in 2000 for $24 million after identifying the Macquarie Park area as one that would benefit from infrastructure developments such as the then-planned Chatswood to Epping Rail Link and the expansion of the Macquarie Centre. For investors, the sale represents a substantial five-fold return on investment.

“In recent years opening up of transport links, the growth of the business precinct and the increasing density of Sydney’s population have added significantly to the amenity and popularity of this area. The Macquarie Park office precinct is now larger than the North Sydney office precinct. We strongly believed these factors would translate into strong rents and demand for space,” said Centuria Unlisted Property Funds CEO, Jason Huljich.

“We saw a real medium term opportunity to redevelop this large site for commercial or residential use. In the interim, we kept it as fully-leased office buildings providing a strong income return for investors.”

In its trademark style, the Centuria team worked up a development scheme for some 380-plus apartments on the site. It was then offered for sale through CBRE’s Scott Gray-Spencer and Matthew Ramsay, who received 10 offers from offshore and local developers.

Mr Huljich said the strong interest in the sales campaign and the high purchase price were extremely pleasing validations of Centuria’s active management property philosophy.

The exchange of contracts marks the end of a highly successful year for Centuria Property Funds and its investors in terms of both sales and acquisitions. Recent transactions include Centuria taking a $104 million slice of the marquee Australian Technology Park and the sale at a 30% IRR return for investors after only two years of its Sydney CBD asset, 175 Castlereagh Street. The sales generate substantial performance fees to the Centuria group.