LaSalle exits $187m Australian mall

JPMorgan Asset Management was reportedly the buyer for the recently redeveloped St. Collins Lane CBD Shopping Centre in Melbourne.

LaSalle Investment Management has sold a Melbourne, Australia shopping mall for A$247 million ($187 million; €174 million).

The real estate investment manager reportedly sold the asset to JPMorgan Asset Management, which acquired the property using capital from its latest pan-Asia real estate fund. Back in August, JPMorgan also acquired an office tower in Melbourne for A$286 million via the fund.

The recently redeveloped St. Collins Lane CBD Shopping Centre offers over 969,000 square feet of gross leasable area across four floors and a mezzanine level comprising over 60 stores. St. Collins Lane sits below the Novotel Melbourne on Collins which LaSalle sold for A$237 million to Frasers Hospitality Trust earlier in September.

LaSalle acquired the retail asset and the hotel from Thakral Holdings Group for A$204 million in 2011 for its LaSalle Asian Opportunity Fund III.

The sale was exclusively negotiated by JLL’s head of retail investments – Australasia, Simon Rooney, on behalf of LaSalle who said: “The revitalization of the CBD retail core has driven further strengthening of investor demand for these high quality assets and this was reflected in the competitive sale process for St. Collins Lane.”

He added that 2016 reflects a record year for CBD retail transactions with $1.6 billion recorded to date, eclipsing the $1.2 billion in 2015.

“There is still very robust demand from investors who are seeking to acquire major CBD retail assets given their defensive nature and potential to generate solid income growth through increased population density, infrastructure improvements and employment growth.”