Gaw Capital Partners continues to be in buy mode this week as the Hong Kong-based investment manager has headed south to Melbourne, Australia to pick up a hospitality and office complex for A$157 million ($115 million)
The family-run real estate private equity firm has agreed to purchase the 24,214 square metre (261,000 square foot) Bell City complex in the Melbourne suburb of Preston from a fund managed by Elanor Investors Group, the ASX-listed real estate investment firm announced to the stock market today.
“We are pleased to have exchanged contracts for the sale of Bell City, at the culmination of the Fund’s investment horizon, and provide a solid return for the Fund’s investors,” Marianne Ossovani, chief investment officer for Elanor Investors Group said in the company’s announcement of the deal.
Buying a Jumbo Hotel Site in Victoria
This latest Melbourne acquisition gives Gaw control of 5,140 square metres by net lettable area of office space within what is said to be one of Australia’s largest hotel compounds, including some room for expansion.
“Hotel components comprise a Mantra Hotel, a BreakFree Hotel, and ‘Le Student 8’ student accommodation as well as extended stay residence,” Peter Harper, Executive Vice President of JLL Hotels and Hospitality Group said in an earlier statement promoting the property.
Built-up facilities on the 24,214 square metre site, in addition to the six-storeys of offices, includes some 844 hotel rooms. “There is an existing planning permit for 377 apartments, 520 car parking bays and associated commercial space or the opportunity to develop as vertical retirement/aged care, additional student accommodation or ‘build to rent’ subject to council approval,” Harper added.
JLL began marketing the facility last September at an initial asking price reportedly as high as A$180 million. While the sale remains subject to inspection by Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board, the parties expect the transaction to close in late July.
Hong Kong Investor Makes Third Aussie Venture
This latest acquisition comes after Gaw acquired a 20,000 square metre office property in Perth, Australia during 2016, which it subsequently converted into a student housing facility.
Also in 2016, the Hong Kong firm teamed up with Australia’s Abacus Property Group to establish an A$200 million ($151.5 million) opportunistic investment fund targeting industrial assets in major cities along Australia’s east coast.
Elanor Investors Group’s Bell City Fund had acquired the Bell City complex from Asian Pacific Group in 2014 for A$142.9 million, according to the statement by Elanor.
Just last month Gaw was busy a long plane flight to the northeast spending $93.5 million to buy a Silicon Valley office complex leased to Toshiba.