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Agribusiness attracts Qld tourist property group

RETAIL, industrial and tourism property owner Sentinel has moved into the agribusiness sector with a $22.8 million purchase of a major chicken farm near Ipswich in southern Queensland. Brisbane-based Sentinel Property Group says it is actively seeking more investment opportunities to further spread its wings in the agribusiness sector. Sentinel, which has a portfolio of […]

Agribusiness attracts Qld tourist property group

RETAIL, industrial and tourism property owner Sentinel has moved into the agribusiness sector with a $22.8 million purchase of a major chicken farm near Ipswich in southern Queensland.

Brisbane-based Sentinel Property Group says it is actively seeking more investment opportunities to further spread its wings in the agribusiness sector.

Sentinel, which has a portfolio of about $1 billion in commercial office, retail, industrial, tourism and land assets under management, has bought the Purga Breeder Farms property with broiler chicken infrastructure purpose-built for Steggles.

Steggles, part of Australia’s largest poultry production company, Baiada, occupies the property on a 20-year lease which began in 2007.

The farm is the first asset for the new open-ended Sentinel Income Trust, which has a forecast year one distribution of 12 per cent.

Sentinel managing director, Warren Ebert, said the company’s entry into the agribusiness sector continued its “first mover” strategy of identifying and capitalising on new emerging asset classes.

Poultry was the strongest performing component of Australia’s agribusiness sector with domestic production increasing by more than 75 per cent in the past 10 years.

“Sentinel has built its success on being out ahead of the market to consistently deliver industry-leading returns to investors,” he said.

“We are not one to have all our eggs in one basket and our strategic acquisition of a major poultry business, and entry into the wider agribusiness sector follows on from our recent focus on securing prominent assets on the Gold Coast and in North Queensland which are well positioned to benefit from the rebounding tourism sector.

“Similar to our expansion into tourism markets, we see a lot of upside in exposure to Australia’s agribusiness sector.

“We are actively looking at further opportunities to grow our presence in this sector.”

The Purga Breeder Farms just south of Ipswich covers 64 hectares, including three poultry breeder shed sites and a licenced capacity for 187,000 birds, four staff residences and associated infrastructure.

Mr Ebert said although only two per cent of the world’s chicken meat was currently produced in Australia the poultry industry was strategically positioned for continued growth on the back of strong domestic and international demand and a strong reputation for successfully managing the sector to avoid diseases such as bird flu.

“The capital raising for the Purga acquisition was immediately oversubscribed by investors, continuing the ongoing strong demand for new Sentinel investment opportunities across all asset classes.”

Sentinel, an unlisted commercial property fund manager, was established in 2010 and has funding from more than 500 investors.

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Industrial Property

Charter Hall Files Medical Distribution Centre Plans

Charter Hall 1

Charter Hall is moving ahead with plans to develop a 4.8ha site in west Sydney, lodging plans for the Compass Logistics Estate as the group grows its industrial holdings in the area.

The latest plans for the Blacktown site includes a medical-based warehouse and distribution centre at Lot 1 Eastern Creek Drive, Eastern Creek.

The plans by Qanstruct feature 21,350sq m of warehouse, 500sq m forklift charging area, 1750sq m of office, 14 loading docs and 184 car parking spaces, to be operated all hours.

There would also be a concrete vault for the storage of “controlled drugs”, chillers to reduce operating temperature and secondary packaging rooms for pharmaceutical products.

“The proposed warehouse will be used for general storage and distribution of pharmaceuticals, medical devices and health food products and other related products which will need to be maintained between 15 to 25 degrees Celsius,” the application said.

The ASX-listed company purchased the land as part of a larger 6ha site for $35 million in 2018 to maximise its land bank close to critical infrastructure. The purchase was made through a joint partnership between Charter Hall Prime Industrial Fund and Core Logistics Partnership.

In mid-2021 the fund also acquired the 90-year leasehold for 35ha of industrial land at Light Horse Business Club in the same region from the Western Sydney Parklands Trust.

Charter Hall

▲ The state significant plans for Charter Hall were designed by Qanstruct with landscaping by Habit8 and are currently on exhibition.

The five-year development agreement would see Charter Hall develop the estate with a gross lettable area of 170,000sq m and an on-completion value in excess of $300 million.

CPIF fund manager Richard Mason said it was their strategy to acquire and develop well located sites close to major transport infrastructure with easy access to large consumer markets.

“The momentum in demand for strategic located industrial space is seeing record leasing activity, particularly for larger automated purpose-built facilities,” Mason said.

“The shortage of zoned, ready to develop land, provides the opportunity to further expand our modern logistics portfolio.”

The industrial market in Eastern Creek is rapidly expanding with infrastructure investments in Sydney’s western growth corridor including WestConnex tunnel project and the Western Sydney Aerotropolis.


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Industrial Property

Brisbane Lining Up for Record Industrial Build


After capping off a record $2.3-billion year of transactions, Brisbane’s booming industrial sector is tipped to double its pipeline this year.

It is the third consecutive year the city has broken its transaction record.

A CBRE report on the city’s industrial and logistics results in the fourth quarter showed a strong appetite for speculative developments, as investors looked to capitalise on occupier demand.

CBRE head of industrial and logistics research Sass J-Baleh said 37 per cent of developments in 2021 were speculative, while this year almost half of development in the pipeline would be speculative.

“New supply is forecast to increase significantly in 2022 and reach around 683,669sq m—surpassing the 10-year annual average and over double the 2021 total,” J-Baleh said.

“Approximately 64 per cent of the 2022 supply pipeline is already under construction.

“There is a relatively large supply of speculative floorspace due for completion in 2022, with 325,705sq m set to complete in the year as investors look to capitalise on cheap debt and deploy significant amounts of capital in the booming sector.

“With a lack of investable stock available on the market, it is expected that investors will continue the trend towards building speculative supply, on the back of expectations of further occupier demand.”

Brisbane industrial financial indicators

RegionPrime Net Rents – Q4 (per sqm)Prime net rents – YoY changePrime market yield – Q4Prime market yield – YoY change
Outer south$1082.4%4.95%80bps
Western corridor$1104.8%4.95%105bps
M1 corridor$1132.3%5.1%80bps
Trade Coast$1236.5%4.95%80bps

^Source: CBRE Brisbane Industrial and Logistics 4Q21

Retail trade accounted for 60 per cent of the take up of industrial space in 2021, in line with the surging trend to e-commerce in Australia, while industrial vacancy rates dipped from 2.4 per cent to 2 per cent in Brisbane over the year.

Prime net face rents have increased 2.8 per cent over the past 12 months.

But in the race to secure pre-leases prime incentives have increased alongside this. The average incentive at the end of December was 21 per cent, up 220 basis points over the year.

Consequently, net effective rents have actually dropped 0.2 per cent quarter on quarter.

“In line with the elevated speculative supply pipeline in the Brisbane industrial market, many of the significant occupier transactions for the quarter were in pre-lease market,” J-Baleh said.

“The most significant pre-lease deals in the fourth quarter of 2021 include Winning Appliances at 3270 Ipswich Road, Wacol for 45,740sq m, and Bapcor Limited in Berrinba for 45,000sq m.

“It is expected that larger occupiers will continue to look at speculative developments for their future space requirements as tranches of speculative supply continue to be developed.”

J-Baleh said the decreased land availability in Brisbane had led to significant land value appreciation. Small lots in Brisbane were now priced at about $414 per sq metre, an increase of 8.4 per cent year on year while large lots were averaging $302 per sq metre, an increase of 10.6 per cent year on year.

“Land values are expected to continue to rise as land availability becomes scarce in Brisbane. Particularly in precincts where there is not a great amount of future land development available,” she said.

“However, this in turn will result in a lack of pure land transactions as developers will look to hold on to land offerings to capitalise on the future value rather than dispose of them.”

Australia’s industrial vacancy rates are at an all-time low of 1.3 per cent nationally, down from 6.3 per cent two years ago.


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Charter Hall Spends $66m on SPC Factory

SPC Factory 1

Busy fund manager Charter Hall has outlaid $66 million for a food processing plant at Shepparton in rural Victoria, adding to its expanding logistics portfolio.

The 126,000sq m facility, two hours north of Melbourne, was sold by fruit and vegetable giant SPC.

The initial yield on the transaction is about 6.1 per cent, setting a fresh benchmark for the local market where prime deals have been rare.

The processing plant is on a largely unused 23.4ha site at Andrew Fairly Avenue, providing Charter Hall with development potential.

It was purchased with a 30-year triple-net lease and will be held in Charter Hall’s $2.5 billion Direct Industrial Fund No.4 (DIF4).

Chris O’Brien, Ben Hegerty and Andrew Bell from CBRE brokered the deal.

Charter Hall direct chief executive Steven Bennett said the acquisition fitted comfortably within DIF4’s strategy of buying quality industrial property near transport infrastructure coupled with strong tenant covenants.

“DIF4 continues to meet investor demand for high-quality exposure to the resilient and growing industrial and logistics property market,” Bennett said.

“[This] acquisition is consistent with the fund’s investment strategy, presenting a rare 30-year triple net lease, introduces a new tenant customer to the fund’s portfolio and enhances DIF4’s exposure to the non-discretionary food industry.”

SPC Factory

▲ The sale of the facility by food processor SPC will help the company raise funds to develop new products and increase efforts to break into international markets. 

Charter Hall noted the Shepparton acquisition would extend the fund’s weighted average lease expiry to 11.2 years at 100 per cent occupancy.

The DIF4 property portfolio includes the 21,000sq m Edinburgh Parks Distribution Centre in Adelaide, leased to poultry producer Inghams, and a 31,000sq m facility in south-west Sydney, leased to global logistics group Mainfreight.

In recent months, DIF4 has deployed over $375 million in acquisitions, providing investors access to leading national tenants including Cleanaway, Tesla, Bunnings and the federal government.

Charter Hall head of industrial development Andrew Simons told The Urban Developer the ASX-listed fund manager’s industrial arm was actively focusing on providing “last-mile” solutions in 2022.

“The standout [in 2021] has been the shift in mindset in the urgency of our tenant customers to adopt automation,” Simons said.

“Pre-Covid the general view was that automation was a good thing to acknowledge and possibly pursue.

“Post-Covid the mindset has changed to automation being something to consider as a priority noting the changing world and the benefits of scale, efficiency and flexibility automation can bring to their businesses.”

Simons said the renewed focus would require significant change to permitted land uses, a need to rethink strategies around zoning, permitted uses, hours of operation and concepts such as multi-level, high density warehousing.

“This will become critical to allow our cities to function effectively in the future,” he said.

The group’s managed portfolio of warehouse and logistics assets, worth $3.4 billion, booked a 9.6 per cent lift in values last year.

Charter Hall currently has a $2.3 billion industrial and logistics pipeline with a focus on Sydney and Melbourne.


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