An Officeworks store in the centre of Cairns city has traded hands for $7.45 million, as investors continue to seek out large format retail (LFR) opportunities across the country.  

The office supplies chain has occupied the 4,695 sqm on 13-15 Water Street for the past 20 years but will relocate after selling to a North Queensland property investor. 

The sale will see the store move to new premises on Spence Street at the end of their two-year lease. 

Media outlets have reported that G & R France & Sons Pty Ltd purchased the store from Abacod Pty Ltd, a Sydney-based firm, after a weeks-long expression of interest campaign.  

Spence Street, the location for the new Officeworks, is said to be demolished to make way for the new building. 

CBRE’s Cairns Managing Director, Danny Betros and Jay Beattie managed the sale after the EOI drew the attention of owner-occupiers and investors. 

“The building and property are in a brilliant location in Cairns City, with high exposure being on a main arterial road,” Betros said. 

“Widespread enquiries were received from across Australia, with most buyers having plans to either occupy the building at the end of the current lease or with another tenant in mind to replace Officeworks in 2025.” 

The Water Street site will be part of CBRE’s national re-leasing campaign at the end of 2024. 

New CBRE research has shown institutional buyers accounted for 55% of Australia’s large format retail (LFR) acquisitions in 2022, compared to just 29% of the purchasing activity in 2021.   

Investors are turning their sights to LFR centres as continued population growth forecasts and a limited supply pipeline enhance the sector’s income and value prospects. 

LFR assets are traditionally the most tightly held sub-sector in retail, with a limited number of assets transacting each year, despite strong buy-side demand. 

In a trend nationwide, investors continue to hand over multi-million dollar figures to grow their LFR portfolios. 

Notable recent transactions in the LFR sector included the $282 million acquisition of Sydney’s Crossroads Homemaker Centre by LaSalle Investment Management, Ashe Morgan’s $78.9 million purchase of Homemaker Prospect in Sydney and the $265 million sale of Homeworld Helensvale in South East Queensland to interests associated with Taiwanese-backed developer Shayher Group.