New food retailers, car park fix planned for CBD shopping centre
A RETAIL investment group that spent millions to buy a Gladstone shopping centre is dreaming up ways to fill the empty stores and fix the notoriously bad car park.
Elanor Retail Property Fund recently purchased Gladstone Square Shopping Centre, formerly and better known as The Valley, for $31.5 million.
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Head of retail and fund manager Michael Baliva told The Observer they were already considering ways to attract new retailers and fix its car park problems.
Describing the company as "pretty active", Mr Baliva said customers could expect to see changes within six months.
It's the latest major acquisition for the newly floated Elanor fund, after it listed with a portfolio of five assets last November.
Specialising in "neighbourhood shopping centres" with major supermarkets, Mr Baliva said they focused on food retailers over fashion.
"We think the design of the centre is good for that convenience style shopping," he said.
"Anything that would fit that convenience offering, like food, catering, retail servicing, is what we're looking for."
It won't be long before they hit the drawing board for solutions to the busy car park too.
"From feedback from some retailers we understand the car park needs improving," he said.
The Gladstone purchase is Elanor's second Queensland asset, adding to a similar "neighbourhood" style shopping centre in Bundaberg.
"We see Gladstone as an area which has been through some difficult times, but we don't see it getting worse, if anything I think there's some positive momentum for things to improve," Mr Baliva said.
AN AUSTRALIAN retail group has forked out $31.5 million to buy the Gladstone Square shopping centre.
Colliers International sold the Gladstone CBD shopping precinct, better known as The Valley Shopping Centre, to Elanor Retail Property Fund at a yield of 7.25%.
The sale comes after former owners Charter Hall Retail REIT shifted their focus to investing in larger malls.
Colliers International retail sales director Stewart Gilchrist said it was a vote of confidence in Gladstone's property market.
Mr Gilchrist wasn't surprised by the relatively quick sale, following a three-week expressions of interest campaign in April.
"When you get a Woolworths or Coles-based shopping centre there's always a good, strong amount of interest," Mr Gilchrist said.
"I think this shows a good, positive result for Gladstone. It's a sign that there's confidence in the town.
"This is a long-term investment."
The sale includes the 7000-square metre shopping centre and its 27 stores, 302 space car park and two ATMS.
He said the sale was anchored by the new 20-year lease for Woolworths, which will see the store remain at Gladstone Square till May 2036.
He said the price of $31.5 million was in the "targeted area" for the former owners.
The sale takes the newly floated Elanor Retail Property Fund's portfolio to six assets.