Chinese investor buys Woolworths Metro in Brunswick

Woolworths Metro BrunswickThe $13.5 million sale of the Woolworths Metro Supermarket Brunswick is the latest in a series of retail acquisitions by Chinese investors who have bought retail shopping assets across Victoria in recent months.

Located opposite the Brunswick Tram depot, the small format ground floor supermarket is due to open in June 2018 together with 86 residential apartments on seven upper levels. The ‘off-the-plan’ property sold for a yield of 4.81 per cent.

The recent transaction was brokered by CBRE Victorian Retail Investments’ team of Mark Wizel, Justin Dowers, Joseph Du Rieu and Kevin Tong on behalf of developer Pace Development Group, headed by Shane Wilkinson.

Dowers said the public Expression of Interest campaign garnered interest from over 140 possible suitors, ultimately attracting bids from six potential purchasers.

“The property was ultimately sold to a private investor emanating from China which is further evidence of the recent trend of off-shore investors seeking secure retail investment properties with long leases,” Dowers said.

“With two other established Woolworths Supermarkets in Brunswick, we feel this is a very aggressive purchase and a strong sign of confidence in both the area and the Woolworths operating model from the buyer market.”

The transaction of Woolworths Metro Brunswick follows the recent sales of Woolworths Brighton (3.77 per cent yield), Woolworths North Caulfield, also “off-the-plan” (5.17 per cent yield), Coles Ferntree Gully (3.98 per cent yield) and Woolworths Glenroy (4.25 per cent yield).

Du Rieu said with more and more apartment developments being completed in the inner rings of suburban Melbourne, they anticipate more opportunities for investment in ground floor supermarkets attached to the developments.

“This recent transaction should give mixed-use developers confidence when they opt to incorporate a supermarket at the bottom of an apartment complex, they will be able to sell it and sell it well” Dowers said.

The story was first published on Inside Retail Weekly.

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