Diversified landlord GPT has sealed an $800 million joint venture with an industrial-focused Canadian fund manger, significantly expanding its ambitions in a sector that has thrived in the face of COVID-19.
Industrial property, underpinned by the logistics and warehousing growth needed to drive rocketing ecommerce spending online, is one the fastest growing and sought after property asset classes.
GPT and Vancouver-based real estate investor QuadReal Property Group will kick off their $800 million 50:50 joint venture with a $175 million investment in two properties on Australia’s eastern seaboard.
About 20 per cent of the targeted investment has been committed to buying a $137.1 million fund-through development in Truganina, in Melbourne’s west, and a $38 million speculative logistics development at Metroplex Place, Wacol in Brisbane.
The 70,000 square metre Truganina facility, at 918 Boundary Road opposite GPT’s existing Gateway Logistics Hub, will be occupied by HB Commerce on a 10-year lease.
HB is a subsidiary of Dutch ecommerce giant Vida XL that markets itself as selling: “Everything for your Home, Garden, Garage, Office.”
GPT exchanged contracts for the Truganina deal Friday and announced the transaction over the weekend ahead of reporting its full year 2020 financial results on Monday.
Industrial transactions in Australia hit a record high last year as office tower and shopping centre deals faded, illustrating the pandemic’s differing impact on commercial real estate.
“Growth of our Logistics portfolio is a core focus for GPT and we have made strong progress in securing development and investment opportunities in the sector,” GPT managing director and chief executive Bob Johnston said.
“The logistics market continues to benefit from structural tailwinds driven by growth in ecommerce, food and pharmaceuticals distribution and the recovery in the housing market,” he said.
The partnership gives both GPT and QuadReal the opportunity to accelerate the growth of logistics assets under management, QuadReal’s Asia managing director Peter Kim said.
The $8 billion Australian property trust will provide investment management, capital transaction, property management and development services to the joint venture, leveraging its record in logistics development and asset management.
GPT has doubled the value of its logistics assets since 2017 to $3 billion as it pushes ahead with its long-term strategy of increasing exposure to logistics assets to at least 20 per cent of its portfolio.
In its September quarter update last year, the group said it was making “steady progress” with rent collection and leasing transactions outside of Victoria, which at the time was suffering COVID-related restrictions.
“Our logistics portfolio continues to deliver excellent results, benefiting from sustained demand from both existing and new customers,” Mr Johnston said at the time.
QuadReal owns and managed more than seven million square metres of single-and-multi-tenant industrial buildings around the globe.
Source: Thanks smh.com