Vicinity Centres picks up major stake in Gold Coast Harbour Town for $358m

Vicinity Centres picks up major stake in Gold Coast Harbour Town for $358m

Harbour Town Gold Coast via Queensland.com.

Vicinity Centres (ASX: VCX) is doubling down on outlet retail with its acquisition of a 50 per cent stake in Harbour Town Gold Coast for $358 million from a Lendlease-managed wholesale fund.

Announced today, the deal will see Lewis Land Group retain its 50 per cent interest in the asset and continue to manage the property, while Vicinity will undertake all leasing activity.

Anchored by national supermarket brand Woolworths (ASX: WOW) and Reading Cinemas, Harbour Town Gold Coast is a hybrid centre mixing premium outlets with convenience retail and lifestyle amenities.

Vicinity says there is opportunity to leverage its retail partnerships to introduce new brands and enhance retail income post-acquisition, and elevate the centre with more defined outlet, food and leisure precincts.

The deal expands Vicinity’s exposure to outlet retail, with Harbour Town Gold Coast to join similar centres in its portfolio like DFO South Wharf in Victoria and DFO Homebush in New South Wales.

“Today’s announcement reflects our strategy to invest in premium retail assets where we can buy well and add value,” Vicinity Centres CEO and managing director Grant Kelley said.

“Harbour Town is located in an attractive trade area and the centre’s annual MAT is more than double the average MAT for Vicinity’s current outlet portfolio and is expected to grow at more than 3 per cent per annum to 2031.

“We will continue to optimise our asset portfolio by actively considering acquisition opportunities where we can add value as well as divestment opportunities that make strong strategic and economic sense for Vicinity and its securityholders.”

Lendlease managing director investment management Scott Mosley said the sale was a "good outcome" for investors and in line with Australian Prime Property Fund Retail's capital management strategy.

"APPF Retail is focused on executing its urban growth centre strategy, incorporating mixed-use placemaking to create vibrant precincts that support changing consumer needs around lifestyle, technology and shopping," Mosley said.

“The delivery of the Fund’s urban growth strategy has been accelerated, with recent examples including the opening of the high ropes adventure course at Sunshine Plaza in Qld and approval for a seven-storey office development with childcare facilities at Lakeside Joondalup WA.”

Shares in VCX are down 0.77 per cent to $1.67 per share at 12.07pm AEDT.

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