Greenpool Capital and Qualitas have taken over the Gold Coast’s Runaway Bay Centre after buying the remaining 50% interest from Vicinity Centres for $132 million. 

The sub-regional shopping centre has 43,150sqm of gross lettable area on a 12.5-hectare site and is located 6km north of the Southport central business district and 60km southeast of Brisbane. 

The partners only bought their initial half stake in the centre from Perron Group for $128 million last month.  

Vicinity said the disposal price represented an 18% premium to its end-June 2021 book value. 

“While Runaway Bay has been a solid asset within our portfolio, this transaction reflects our willingness to recycle our capital into assets with better long-term growth prospects, in this case, in the same attractive catchment,” said Vicinity CEO and Managing Director Grant Kelley.  

The asset is anchored by Woolworths, Coles, Aldi, Big W and Target, in addition to 4 mini majors and 90 speciality stores. 

Both Runaway Bay transactions were negotiated by Simon Rooney, CBRE Head of Retail Capital Markets – Pacific. 

Mr Rooney said the centre was well-positioned to benefit from significant food expenditure within the main trade area of $901 million, accounting for 55% of retail spending. 

“By acquiring the residual 50% interest in the Runway Bay Centre, Greenpool Capital and Qualitas have strategically secured both management and development control of the centre, which occupies an under-utilised, 124,700sqm site and presents significant mixed-use development opportunities,” Mr Rooney said. 

“Strategic off-market transactions such as Runaway Bay reinforce the ability for retail owners to secure competitive pricing and prompt transaction outcomes, with the deal being struck at a price above Vicinity’s most recent publicly reported book value.”  

Queensland retail property bonanza

The transaction follows a string of major Queensland retail deals including Vicinity Centre’s $358 million purchase of a 50% interest in Harbour Town Gold Coast from a Lendlease-managed fund and the sale of a majority interest in Pacific Fair to Cbus Property, as part of a recapitalisation of the AMP Capital Retail Trust. 

The Runway Bay transactions take Queensland retail deal volumes close to $3 billion for 2021. 

Mr Rooney said more than $500 million in additional Queensland retail deals were expected to be closed out prior to the year’s end across all major retail categories, with investor interest in Queensland being underpinned by strong retail expenditure and population growth. 

There has been strong retail property investment activity outside of Queensland as well, including Link REIT’s $538.2 million acquisition of a 50% stake in three retail properties in Sydney. 

CIP Asset Management sold a 50% stake in the Roselands shopping centre in Sydney to JY Group for $167 million earlier this month, while Primewest bought the Northgate Geraldton shopping centre in Geraldton, WA from a Lendlease fund for $71.2 million. 

The deal is the latest retail acquisition for Greenpool Capital, following its 2020 purchase of North Adelaide Village for $50 million, which was also a joint venture with Qualitas.