A high-net-worth investor has bought the Homeworld Helensvale large format retail centre on the Gold Coast for $265 million, marking Queensland’s largest LFR sale on record.  

The retail centre comprised more than 36,000 sqm of lettable area on a 20.3-hectare site, with a mix of large format and convenience retail, health, medical, dining, lifestyle and daily needs tenants. 

Situated in the northern suburbs of the Gold Coast, the property was about 18 kilometres north of Surfers Paradise and 60km south of the Brisbane CBD. 

The site also had 7.34ha of developable vacant land with a portion granted approval for showroom, retail, medical, indoor recreation, and office expansion, as well as high-density residential, hotel and retirement living.  

Colliers’ Lachlan MacGillivray and Stewart Gilchrist and Stonebridge’s Philip Gartland managed the invitation-only international expression of interest (EOI) campaign for the property.  

The campaign had strong levels of engagement with a mixture of domestic and offshore groups, attracting substantial interest from HNW privates, institutional groups and developers. 

“As shoppers increasingly show preference towards experiential retail post lockdowns, Homeworld Helensvale is in a prime position to take advantage of strong household spending and demand from consumers post lockdowns,” MacGillivray said.  

“Continued work from home and a reduced supply in the residential market has also boosted key large format retail categories, with many outperforming broader retail sales growth.” 

Gartland said LFR had been one of the most resilient retail asset classes through the COVID pandemic, with probably the strongest yield compression of all the retail sub-sectors during the time and with average gross face rents having remained stable over Q2 2022. 

“Over the past few years, changing consumer behaviours and planning flexibility has allowed the tenancy mix within LFR centres to evolve to suit both retailers and customers alike from both a convenience and flexible trading hour perspective,” Gartland said. 

“Homeworld Helensvale is a very strong example of this evolution” 

Not only was the deal Queensland’s largest LFR transaction, but it was also the second largest in Australia.  

The deal comes after Quanta Investment Funds settled on its acquisition of the Yamanto Village retail centre in Ipswich, Queensland for $21.1 million earlier this month.  

Other Queensland retail deals include Newmark Property REIT’s purchase of a large format retail complex in the Brisbane suburb of Underwood for $57 million last month.   

Prior to that, Whistle Funds Management sold the Tannum Central Shopping Centre near Gladstone for $18.5 million and the Emu Park Village shopping centre near Rockhampton for $17.95 million.  

SCA Property Group recently purchased the Brassall Shopping Centre in Ipswich for $46.5 million and the Port Village Shopping Centre in Port Douglas for $36 million. 

In April, QIC settled on the sale of its half stake in the Westfield Helensvale shopping centre on the Gold Coast for $185 million.