Vicinity Spends $358m on 50pc Stake in Harbour Town


Vicinity Centres has bought a 50 per cent share in the Harbour Town shopping centre just as Lewis Land Group finalises plans for the massive greenfield site next door.

The $358-million deal will see the two become joint venture partners for the centre, with Vicinity taking the place of the Lendlease-managed Australian Prime Property Fund Retail.

Harbour Town Premium Outlets Gold Coast has 55,693sq m of gross leasable area including the dining precinct, which was redeveloped in 2018, and has 98.7 per cent occupancy.

Lewis Lend Group developed the outdoor centre in 1999 at Biggera Waters and is in the process of finalising the master plan for its adjacent landholdings.

The new project, Runaway Shores on Oxley Drive, has 1.4km of water frontage connecting to the Broadwater and is expected to have a “residential capacity of 5000 to 6000 bedrooms and a possible marina”.

The group was also working on several sites just north of the shopping centre called Harbour Quays with 360 completed apartments across three towers as well as master planning under way for an additional 244 apartments.

The blue fountain outside Harbour Town shopping centre on the Gold Coast is surrounded by shops and tropical plants.
▲ Harbour Town shopping centre opened in 1999 and was the first outdoor outlet centre in Australia, it now has 230 stores.

Vicinity chief executive Grant Kelley said the centre had a strong retail expenditure growth forecast and large-scale infrastructure investment planned for the region.

“Harbour Town is in an attractive trade area and the centre’s annual moving annual turnover 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,” Kelley said.

Lewis Land Group chief executive Matthew McCarron said the sale came at an exciting time for the surrounding precinct and shoppers alike.

“After extended periods of lockdown and Covid-19 restrictions, Australians are excited to get back to real-life experiences and LLG believes this will see shoppers flood back to prime retail locations,” McCarron said.

“While online shopping can satisfy the shopping urge from a practical sense, there’s nothing like the sense of discovery and social interaction that outlet shopping can provide and this is a great time for HTPOGC and its owners to enter this exciting new phase.”

Lendlease managing director investment management Scott Mosely said there was a lot of interest in the property.

“This is a very good outcome for our investors and is in line with the Fund’s capital management strategy that includes providing liquidity to our investors who have sought it,” Mosely said.

“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.”

The Harbour Town sale was managed by CBRE’s Simon Rooney, and Sam McVay and Dan McVay from McVay Real Estate.

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