Dream homes are great attention grabbers. Reams of space is dedicated online and in print to displaying palatial mansions, lavish penthouses and prestige estates. So why not a dream commercial property to call your own? Commercial real estate has risen to new levels of popularity propelled by low interest rates, strong returns and shifting consumer habits. Many residential investors faced with falling rents have turned to commercial seeking higher yields, while larger institutions here and offshore have ramped up activity. Industrial property has been the star performer along with medical centres and hotels. The flurry of transactions saw commercial property transactions reach $40.5 billion in 2021 – almost double the $20.3 billion achieved the year prior.
Here is an indication of recent prices being fetched in popular asset classes plus a taste of the more unique listings on the New Year market.
- Warehouses are wallflowers no more. The boom in e-commerce and subsequent need for storage and logistics has dovetailed with the need for data centres, helping lift demand for warehouses and factories to new levels. In one of many notable recent transactions, Melbourne’s wealthy Jreissati family sold a Port Melbourne warehouse recently for $81.6 million after having paid $31 million seven years prior. The healthy price was aided by the area’s diminished volume of industrial-zoned land due to increased residential re-zoning and a strategic location near both the city and main port. Selling agents tagged the price paid by the buyer, German-based fund manager Institutional Investment Partners, “the sharpest result for a single asset in Victoria from an industrial perspective”.
- Health retreats suffered as much as other tourism facilities when lockdowns and border closures hit hard. But that did not deter multi-billionaires Andrew and Nicola Forrest from paying a reported $30 million last October to add Olivia Newton-John’s Gaia wellness retreat to their growing portfolio of luxury lodges. Newton-John co-founded Gaia in the Byron Bay hinterland 16 years ago and its international listing by Colliers agents Gus Moors and Karen Wales attracted interest from other high-net-worth individuals, private funds and developers.
This year brings the rare chance to snap up the exclusive Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat, Australia’s largest wellness destination renowned for attracting celebrity guests. The luxurious property sprawling across 165ha of Gold Coast hinterland was built in 2005 by Fitness First entrepreneur Tony de Leede for an estimated $30 million. Film star Hugh Jackman counts among Gwinganna’s major investors and is a regular guest. The property comes with 60-plus rooms and premium villas, two infinity pools, a gym, yoga studio and dedicated complex for wellness education. The retreat also bears an enviable reputation with a swag of accolades including Best Luxury Eco Spa Global Winner at the 2021 World Luxury Spa Awards. In an additional bonus for potential buyers, the site has potential for medium-term development thanks to a zoning for low density rural and residential. The Colliers team that handled Gaia’s sale will launch Gwinganna to the market this month with expressions of interest closing in March. Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat | Australian Health & Wellness Retreat & Spa
- A list of dream commercial properties would not be complete without a vineyard. The 26ha established vineyard Moorabool Ridge at 37 Spiller Road Lethbridge, Victoria, ticks many boxes to suit an array of buyers, from vineyard owners keen to expand, investors after property with tourism potential, anyone who has ever wanted their own wine label or those simply seeking a family home in a bucolic setting.
Moorabool Ridge comes with a modern 5-bedroom home overlooking the Moorabool River and a cellar door with café housed in an 1850’s shepherd’s hut. There is also a machinery shed, workshop, steel cattle yards and 14 acres of vines cultivated by the vendors who established the Moorabool Ridge label in 2005. Other pluses are location - under one hour’s drive from Melbourne, Ballarat and Geelong – along with highly fertile soils and a favourable climate. Opportunity for farmstay-style tourism lies in the brick dairy which comes with plans for three upscale accommodation units. Agents Erica Semmens and Danny Thomas from Land Agribusiness Water and Development (LAWD) are seeking $3.65 million.
37 Spiller Road, Lethbridge, Vic 3332 - Viticulture/vineyard for Sale - realestate.com.au
- Cat lovers who like combining business with pleasure will be pleased to hear one of Australia’s few cat cafes is on the market for a mere $60,000. The Lucky Cat Café in the Brisbane suburb of Annerley is one of only three in Queensland and 10 across the country. Over its six years of operation, owner and founder Katie Phelan has won a loyal clientele and social media following for her unusual business which attracts locals as well as tourists. Customers can sip cappuccinos while meeting rescue cats and peruse a range of merchandise for pets and people. Ms Phelan is reluctantly selling after personal matters called for an interstate move. According to the listing the Lucky Cat Café’s pluses include a location in “a significant growth corridor in southeast Queensland” and being “close to a major arterial road with very high visibility”, while a large onsite carpark, council approved licences and the opportunity to extend trading hours are billed as delivering “excellent future growth opportunities.”
22039 Popular Cat Cafe | Bonza Business & Franchise Sales Pty Ltd (bonzabfs.com.au)