Cromwell sells 50% stake in Chatswood office building for A$120m

Cromwell sells 50% stake in Chatswood office building for A$120m
475 Victoria Avenue, Chatswood Photo:Cromwell Property Group

Cromwell Property Group has sold a 50% stake in 475 Victoria Avenue, Chatswood, a business centre in Sydney’s North Shore region, for A$120 million, and entered into a joint venture for its expansion with a private fund managed by BlackRock.

475 Victoria Avenue comprises two 13-level office buildings, ground floor retail and three levels of basement parking. Vacancy levels in Chatswood currently sit a 3.7%, as companies increasingly look outside the Sydney CBD for quality office space.

Acquired by Cromwell in 2006, 475 Victoria Avenue is situated in the core commercial area of Chatswood, a significant business centre in Sydney’s North Shore region, approximately 10 kilometres from the Sydney CBD. Chatswood is also the largest retail precinct outside the Sydney CBD and enjoys a major inter-modal transport interchange with the Chatswood-Epping rail link. The building is well positioned, benefiting from close proximity to both the transports interchange and the Pacific Highway.

“Similar to the strategic approach taken with Northpoint Tower in North Sydney, the location, high-calibre tenants and considerable development upside of 475 Victoria Avenue position it as an attractive investment proposition. In line with our value-add capabilities, Cromwell has an existing DA on the site for a new office building, hotel and additional amenity,” said Rob Percy Cromwell’s Chief Investment Officer.

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“In partnership with BlackRock, we will review these plans and explore ways to further increase the value of the asset and support the continued growth of the Chatswood precinct,” Percy added.

“We are pleased to be leveraging our extensive experience investing in Sydney’s North Shore office market and partnering with Cromwell on this exciting off-market opportunity,” said Hamish MacDonald, Head of Investments for BlackRock APAC Real Estate.

“Local infrastructure investment, including the new Sydney Metro line connecting Chatswood with Sydney CBD, is facilitating positive market transition. A highly liquid and transparent market, coupled with population-led demand and yield spread to borrowing costs, makes Australia an attractive market where BlackRock Real Estate will continue to invest in on behalf of our long-term investors.”

“We look forward to adding value to this project and driving demand from quality office occupiers, as well as expanding our relationship with Cromwell on future opportunities,” added MacDonald.

475 Victoria Avenue has secured major tenants including Leighton Contractors and Reed Elsevier Australia, who recently renewed 4,580 sqm across five levels for a further five years.

The transaction is subject to FIRB approval and is expected to settle in May.