David Gonski, Simon Mordant turn huge profit on $70m Alexandria property deal

Prominent corporate lawyer and board director David Gonski, philanthropist Simon Mordant and businessman John Curtis have turned a $54 million profit in just five years after selling a Bunnings shed in Alexandria to a major property investor.

The powerful triumvirate struck a deal to offload a 1.9 hectare site at 520-530 Gardeners Road in Alexandria in Sydney’s inner south to ASX listed Charter Hall for $70 million on Tuesday. They purchased site in 2015 for $16 million.

The sale continues a trend in strong performance for the industrial property sector after the coronavirus pandemic forced shoppers online, pushing up values and demand for warehouses.

The former Bunnings warehouse will be converted to logistics use.
The former Bunnings warehouse will be converted to logistics use.Credit:

Bunnings has about four years remaining on its lease on the strategically located 1.9 hectare site in the industrial and logistics precinct.


A Bunnings Warehouse has stood on the site for 20 years. Charter Hall has negotiated a surrender package with the retailer which no longer needs the facility.

The attraction for the fund was the area’s gentrification where large parcels of land are being rezoned from industrial to high density residential and mixed use, which is creating a shortage of well-located industrial/commercial land.

Charter Hall fund manager Simon Greig said the property provides redevelopment options including the ability to develop a high-profile logistics or last mile facility under the current zoning.

He said South Sydney has emerged one of the most sought-after industrial precincts in Australia given its access to major transport hubs, the Sydney CBD, port, airport and surrounding residential precincts.

“This acquisition is aligned with Charter Hall ’s strategy to replenish its development land bank and grow its Sydney portfolio. It will capitalise on strong demand for industrial and logistics facilities in the South Sydney area,” Mr Greig said.

The deal comes as the industrial property sector has been highly active with pent demand up for storage as people shop online during the lockdown.

Charter Hall chief executive David Harrison said the off-market acquisition and the relationship with Bunnings have allowed the group to access the high profile corner site with multiple development options.

“We now own an industrial and logistics portfolio exceeding $11 billion leased to more than 140 tenant customers,” Mr Harrison said.

“Charter Hall will continue this 13-year strategy to expand our market share of the prime logistics sector for the benefit of our investors.”

Charter Hall was introduced to the opportunity by Josh Charles of One Commercial.

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Source: Thanks smh.com