Retail property

The Block Arcade in Melbourne recently changed hands at an estimated $100 million.

The Block Arcade in Melbourne recently changed hands at an estimated $100 million. Photo: Wayne Taylor

Retail property is in hot demand as a further $100 million of assets hits the market with the sale of the Deepwater Plaza, a sub-regional shopping centre at Woy Woy on the NSW central coast.

The new listing is against the backdrop of the Block Arcade sale in Melbourne, which was suggested to be worth about $100 million.

The Kearney family sold it to the Cohen family, which owns the adjoining property in Collins Street, Melbourne.

It was sold by Colliers International and Allard Shelton.

John Marasco, Colliers International's managing director of capital markets and investment services, said the sales campaign generated more than 200 inquiries and 10 formal expressions of interest, from Shanghai to Moscow.

Deepwater Plaza's selling agent, Steven Lerche, Savills' national director of retail investments, said the value of tourism to the local area would be a consideration for investors attracted to the asset.

''We expect a high level of interest from all major retail investors given that the property trades strongly and is located in one of the most popular tourist destinations on the southern end of NSW central coast,'' Mr Lerche said.

''The sub-regional shopping centre sector has also recently attracted plenty of interest from listed and unlisted buyers as well as private and offshore investors.''

Deepwater is at 52 Railway Parade, Woy Woy. The plaza anchors the town centre of Woy Woy in its prime position on the southern side of Railway Drive directly opposite the railway station.

It is in close proximity to other popular suburbs and tourist destinations such as Killcare, Macmasters Beach, Avoca and Copacabana.

Deepwater Plaza was originally constructed in 1984 and has been subsequently expanded in 1994 and 2005.

The single level sub-regional shopping centre, set on a site area of 42,910 square metres is anchored by a full-line Coles Supermarket, Kmart, IGA Supermarket and 51 specialty shops.

Mr Lerche said demand was high for food-anchored shopping centres in the current retail environment.

This was evidenced by the purchase of the Coomera City Centre in Coomera, Queensland, by Charter Hall Retail REIT for $59.2 million.

At 20 kilometres north of the Gold Coast, Coomera City Centre is a 9431-square-metre neighbourhood shopping centre anchored by a strongly performing Woolworths supermarket and a Dan Murphy's liquor store, with 33 specialty retailers.

Charter Hall Retail REIT's fund manager, Scott Dundas, said the acquisition of Coomera City Centre was in line with the REIT's investment strategy of investing in strongly performing, well-located supermarket-anchored shopping centres. ''Charter Hall will take on the end-to-end property management of the centre to ensure Coomera City Centre benefits from this growth and continues to provide a high-quality and diverse range of services to its local community,'' Mr Dundas said.

The REIT will fund the acquisition from existing debt facilities and has credit approval for an additional $60 million increase to the limit of its syndicated debt facility, increasing this to $535 million and maintaining the current $111.5 million undrawn debt capacity after the completion of the Coomera transaction.