Harbourside Shopping Centre in Darling Harbour listed for $250m plus

Harbourside Shopping Centre in Darling Harbour listed for $250m plus
Harbourside Shopping Centre in Darling Harbour listed for $250m plus

The Harbourside Shopping Centre in Sydney’s Darling Harbour has been listed for sale by Suntrack Holdings, part of  John Beville’s property empire.

The three level three-level retail and entertainment centre on 20,500 square metres has more than 300 metres of water frontage to Cockle Bay.

{yoogallery src=[images/stories/2013/05/may30darlingharbour]}

Beville bought the site in 2004 for $127 million from Malaysians Kar Wai Chan and Thomas Tiong, who bought the site for $111 million in 1995 and spent $70 million refurbishing the site.

Beville’s 2004 purchase followed the $150 million sale of the Marrickville Metro shopping centre to AMP Capital Investors.

Comments by the selling agent suggest the Harbourside will sell for more than $250 million.

“One hundred per cent interests in retail property above $250 million are keenly sought after and rarely offered for sale within the Australian property market,” says Jonathan Fox from Stonebridge Property Group.

The centre, at 2-10 Darling Drive, has a net lettable area of 20,022 square metres and attracts 14 million visitors a year.

Beville has come under fire from the state government earlier this year, saying the 25-year old property would hamper the $2.5 billion redevelopment of Darling Harbour.

National president-elect of the Australian Institute of Architects, Paul Berkemeier, described the centre as a “tired tourist trap” and it had “passed its use-by date”.

The centre still has 75 years left on its 99-year lease from the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority.

The Australian Financial Review reports the site could likely attrract interest from near neighbours Infrastructure NSW, Lend Lease and Echo Entertainment, who have interest in building a hotel and casino on the site to compete with Crown’s Barangaroo development.

The shopping centre was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth in 1988 in a $1 million ceremony that included a lavish fireworks display.


Above: Caption Ian Hayson with Queen Elizabeth at the 1988 opening of Harbourside. Image courtesy of Hayson Group.

It was built by Ian and Tom Hayson’s group Merlin Australia who bought the site, then the Sydney Wool Stores, in the 1980s.

The Haysons were keen to replicate the success of Baltimore’s redevelopment of the old Inner Harbor into festival markets for the bicentennial celebrations.

After securing the support of the premier Neville Wran and public works minister Laurie Brereton, the Hayson’s redeveloped the site into the festival markets which formed the centre piece of the bicentennial celebrations. The site was also vital in securing the Olympic Games in 2000.

It is being sold by Stonebridge Property Group agents Jonathan Fox and Carl Molony through an expression of interest campaign that closes on July 17.

Receivers of Beville’s group Bevillesta sold The Top Ryde shopping to US private equity giant Blackstone for $341 million late last year.

Top Ryde was built by Beville in 2010 and cost about $800 million but receivers were appointed a year later.

Alistair Walsh

Alistair Walsh

Deutsche Welle online reporter

Community Discussion

Be the first one to comment on this article
What would you like to say about this project?