New owners sold on Churchill’s West Place Shopping Centre

Churchill’s West Place Shopping Centre was recently sold to a Sydney investor group. photograph supplied

Michelle Slater

Churchill’s West Place Shopping Centre and Eastwood Village Shopping Centre in Bairnsdale have been separately sold to Sydney based investors for a combined value of $30 million.
The sales were handled by JLL Retail Investments directors Tom Noonan and Stuart Taylor, following the sales of Stockland Traralgon and Coles Morwell earlier this year.
Both centres were contracted sight unseen by the purchasers. JLL was unable to reveal the individual sale price of each shopping centre.
These latest deals added to one of the busiest years on record for Gippsland after more than $140 million had been spent on shopping centre transactions in the region.
West Place Shopping Centre is anchored by Woolworths and supported by 13 specialty shops.
The sale did not include the opposite side anchored by the IGA.
Mr Noonan said the investor would be looking to improve the shopping centre and lure new retailers into the existing vacancies.
The property was sold on the behalf of local developer Minster Constructions and was acquired by Sydney-based Revelop.
Revelop director Charbel Hazzouri said the Churchill shopping centre was a “strategic acquisition” that would allow them to build on the established local shopping precinct.
Mr Hazzouri said West Side offered “vast upside opportunities” without detracting from its
convenience for locals.
“Revelop has a very optimistic outlook on neighbourhood shopping centres that are well located, convenient and offer a truly one-stop shop customer experience,” Mr Hazzouri told The Express.
JLL senior director Stuart Taylor said the transactions reflected strong demand from national investors for retail in Victorian regional areas.
Mr Taylor said the state’s regional property market was experiencing some of the most buoyant conditions on record.
He said this was due to the tree change trend emerging from the pandemic and government incentives offering a 50 per cent reduction in stamp duty for commercial property investments.
“The ongoing lockdowns in Melbourne and Sydney are exacerbating the flight of capital towards these defensive assets,” Mr Taylor said.
“We fully expect demand to stay at the current elevated levels, which is likely to result in further yield compression.”