10/08/2012 - Bite-sized units snapped up fast

The mix of good tenants and affordable strata-title ground-floor retail/commercial units in a new residential tower proved irresistible to four private superannuation fund investors.  They paid a combined $1.5 million for four retail units at the nine-level The Edge residential tower at 51 Playfield St, Chermside.

Raine & Horne Commercial’s Trent Bruce, who with Hudson Dale marketed units 13-16 in the Carbone Developments project next to Westfield Chermside, said they were bought on net yields ranging from 8.5 per cent to 9 per cent. ‘‘All were bought by individuals and interestingly all were in superannuation funds,’’ he said.

The 85sqm unit 13 is leased to Interactive Building Services; the 124sqm unit 14 is leased to Weight Watchers; the 93sqm unit 15 is leased to personal trainers; and unit 16 is leased to a café and consists of 25sqm and an alfresco area of 50sqm.  All are on lease terms of between three to five years.  Units 13-15 were sold for about $4500/sqm, while unit 16 went for about $6500/sqm. ‘‘They were auctioned back in March, and the cafe sold the day before the auction,’’ Mr Bruce said.  ‘‘We had active bidding on 13 and 14 but did not get a sale on the day and they were all sold afterwards.’’ Mr Dale said after he and Mr Bruce were appointed by Carbone Developments to sell the ground-floor retail component of the tower, they recommended that it be split up.

‘‘We made sure there was 25sqm for a coffee shop, and with an IT firm, a gym and Weight Watchers, the synergy was perfect – they all feed off each other,’’ he said. Mr Dale said buyers recognised that instead of risking money in a volatile sharemarket, it was safer invested in ‘‘bricks and mortar’’. ‘‘Also, with the spotlight being on Chermside, with it being a future city, the expectations that things were going to drop in value was minimal. ‘‘It feels like a safe investment and also the bite-sized nature of it – under half a million – was what made them very attractive,’’ he said.