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Chifley Square And NCR House Deals Kick Off Year

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Australiastartups: THE new financial year has started at a hectic pace with more than $225 million of office sales completed in the first two weeks.

The latest was the sale by Charter Hall Office REIT of its NCR House at 8-20 Napier Street, North Sydney, for $57.3 million.

It is understood the buyer was the Australian Catholic University, which has a campus in the area and has been looking for property. The selling agent, Simon Fenn, a senior director at CB Richard Ellis, declined to comment on the buyer's identity.
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Charter Hall Office REIT's chief executive, Adrian Taylor, said the net sale price was in line with the June 2011 book value of $57 million and represented a $6.1 million, or 12 per cent, gain on cost (including all historic capital expenditure).

He said the property had been identified as a non-core asset in last year's five-year asset plan, with a strategy to divest after completion of the existing leasing campaign.

The sale comes as the office trust fights off a plan by dissident investors to oust the present management.

Another large sale confirmed yesterday was by the Mirvac Group, which raised up to $169 million through the sale of a 50 per cent stake in its 8 Chifley Square development in Sydney's central business district.

The Singapore-based K-REIT was the buyer at between $154 million and $169 million, depending on rental levels. The project involves the demolition of the former Goodsell Building and the construction of a 30-storey office tower.

Potential tenants, such as law firm Minter Ellison, are being touted as anchors for the new tower, which is due for completion in 2013.

It will be the third major acquisition for K-REIT, which is associated with the Keppel Group, after it bought the city office site at 77 King Street for $120 million and a half stake in Brisbane's 275 George Street last year.

Ng Hsueh Ling, the chief executive of K-REIT Asia Management, said the group was pleased to establish a strategic relationship with the Mirvac Group. K-REIT has said it is keen to expand its portfolio of assets in Australia in the coming years.

Property trust analysts said the keenly awaited sale was positive news for Mirvac because it would spread the development costs of the $300 million-plus project between the two owners.

Simon Wheatley, Goldman Sachs' executive director of real estate investment research, said he had estimated that the owners could garner about $1250 per square metre in net rent for the development and offer proposed tenants a 20 per cent rental incentive.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald

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