THE first public sales campaign for a metropolitan Melbourne neighbourhood shopping centre development site in 2021 has been launched, at a time of a heightened demand for non-discretionary based retail assets.
The Riverwalk Town Centre site is within Development Victoria’s Riverwalk Estate project in Melbourne’s south western growth corridor, which is being built on the banks of the Werribee River where the Werribee Treatment Plant stood before relocation in the 1990s.
Riverwalk is an “EnviroDevelopment” certified project as per the Urban Development Institute of Australia, which recognises outcomes across six areas of sustainability: water, ecosystems, community, waste, materials and energy.
Riverwalk Town Centre occupies a corner position on the Princes Highway, with more than 10,200 vehicles passing daily, and at the gateway to Riverwalk Estate which will be home to over 8,000 residents at completion, estimated for 2026. A proposed development concept provides for neighbourhood shopping centre, including a full-line supermarket, supported by specialty retailers and on-grade parking across the 3.01-hectare site with commercial 1 zoning.
Colliers’ Mike Crittenden and Tim McIntosh are managing the expressions of interest campaign, closing 14th October.
McIntosh said non-discretionary neighbourhood shopping centres were one of the most resilient and highly sought after asset classes, offering attractive growth over the last 18 months.
“Retail development sites suitable to supermarket and neighbourhood centre developments are being actively targeted by both established and emerging capital seeking the security of an essential services income, strong growth locations and long-term underlying land value.”
There has been $1.6 billion of this core retail asset class transacted in the year to August, already eclipsing the prior year’s total, according to Colliers.
ASX-listed HomeCo Daily Needs Trust this week bought the newly completed Coles-anchored Woodlea Town Centre in Melbourne’s western growth corridor for $55.4 million, at a 5.25% capitalisation rate.
Neighbourhood centre yields have for the first time have firmed below sub-regional yields, according to BIS Oxford Economics, averaging 6.3% with some sales achieving below 5.0%.
Crittenden said Riverwalks’ main trade area population is currently estimated at 14,300 and projected to increase to 19,860 people by 2031. Over 60% of the catchment population currently resides within the primary trade area, which is forecast to grow by 8.7% per annum over the next five years.