Premier Opportunity To Invest In Epping Growth Story Snapped Up In Short Time

Posted on 23rd December 2021

A showroom and logistics island site in Epping has been sold five days ahead of the Expressions of Interest campaign closing, after investors and landbankers hotly pursued the premier opportunity to be part of the suburb’s incredible growth story.

Fitzroys’ Paul Burns and Chris James sold 88 & 100 Cooper Street, which had been offered in-one-line or individually, to a single buyer.

The 1.35-hectare site has a 470-metre street frontage and is directly opposite the Pacific Epping regional shopping centre and in the heart of Epping Central, the priority investment area within the City of Whittlesea.

“We had a huge response from buyers with multiple bids made before the campaign’s scheduled close. The vendor’s instruction was to give interested parties a chance to bid, then to close it out. The buyer signed an unconditional contract five days before the close of EOI,” Burns said.

“Epping is undergoing a generational boom and has emerged as the 'CBD of the north’, with Cooper Street becoming the region’s major commercial hub.

“The property presented as the ultimate land bank - an outstanding, secure investment opportunity in the here and now while presenting huge longer-term potential, with Council encouraging high-density commercial and residential development by way of the site’s Activity Centre zoning.

“Location is a timeless fundamental, and the COVID period has seen intensified demand for secure assets in locations with excellent growth prospects.”

The 9,254sqm site at 100 Cooper Street has a new 10-year lease from July 2021 to Jowett Motor Group, operating as Northern Honda. The improvements are a part-new and part fully-refurbished purpose-built automotive dealership and logistics warehouse totalling 3,860sqm. Annual net return is approximately $730,000.

Northern Honda is the consolidation of a number of Honda dealerships, with the logistics component distributing Honda parts to the majority of metropolitan Melbourne.

88 Cooper Street comprises a modern 1,721sqm three-unit showroom on a 4,228sqm site with associated parking. It is fully leased to long-term tenants Burson (part of ASX-listed Bapcor Limited), GPC Asia Pacific’s NAPA and popular supermarket chain MKS Spices’n’Things, returning $360,000 net. The 2005-constructed building was recently upgraded and has a 4.5-year WALE.

Combined, the entire property returns approximately $1.1 million per annum net, with an 8.1-year WALE. The buildings have been upgraded at a total cost of circa $4.5 million.

In addition to Pacific Epping regional shopping centre, major tenants fronting Cooper Street include Melbourne Wholesale Fruit Vegetable & Flower Market, the Northern Hospital, Epping Private, Melbourne Polytechnic, the Mantra Hotel, Costco Supermarket and others large-format retail, medical and automotive showroom users including Mercedes, VW and Ford.

James said a number of major infrastructure, logistics, advanced manufacturing, and large format retail projects have recently been completed in Epping, with many more planned.

On Cooper Street alone, Riverlee has started work on the $2 billion mixed-use development at the former Epping Quarry, marking one of Australia’s largest urban renewal projects and including the Northern Private Hospital development, while Genesis Property recently bought a 1.63-hectare infill development site.

Throughout Epping, Sandhurst Retail and Logistics is planning a $500 million, 140-hectare industrial estate, and Mazda recently completed its 3.7-hectare national parts and distribution centre. The suburb has also attracted investment from ASX-listed players Charter Hall, Centuria Industrial REIT and large-format retail specialist Aventus.

“The site offered excellent accessibility, connected to the Hume Freeway, Metropolitan Ring Road, Western Ring Road and Tullamarine Freeway, opening up access to the rest of Melbourne as well as Melbourne Airport,” James said.