THE Midland Gate shopping centre has finally sold for $465 million to Melbourne-based fund manager Fawkner Property and international investment firm PAG after being on the market for more than three years.
While rumours of the sale were widely reported at the end of September, the deal was not finalised until last week.
The previous owners, Vicinity Centres, originally listed the 143,528sqm shopping centre for $650m back in 2019.
According to CBRE’s Simon Rooney, who co-negotiated the deal on behalf of Vicinity Centres, the sale represents Australia’s largest single regional asset transaction since December 2019.
For Asian investment firm PAG, the purchase of the shopping centre comes after its recent August acquisition of Australian Venue Co, a hospitality group which owns more than 210 pubs, bars, and event venues across Australia and New Zealand.
The purchase of Midland Gate has also added to Fawkner Property’s portfolio of more than 130 assets, including 13 shopping centres around the country.
On its website Fawkner states the importance of locally owned and operated businesses through what it calls ‘localisation strategy’.
“Fawkner Property provide a direct opportunity for ‘local’ owners and supporters’ to own units. By having literal local ‘buy in’, we can increase foot traffic, customer loyalty and local pride in our centres,” it stated.
How this will manifest at the Midland Gate shopping centre remains to be seen, as the Swan Chamber of Commerce, the peak business forum in the Midland region, has not yet been contacted by Fawkner Property.
Business owner and Swan Chamber of Commerce president Mike Matich said he welcomes Fawkner Property and its ‘localisation strategy’ to the community and looks forward to any potential developments.
“It’s the big box retailers, the iconic national stores. They’re the ones who actually bring people into the area, bring people into the shopping centre. But it’s the local stores that give it colour, that give it life – that creates community in the shopping centres,” he said.