Written on the 11 March 2016 by Nick Nichols


GOLD Coast developer Rayjon Group is selling one of its most prized assets, the Treetops Plaza shopping centre at Burleigh, as it ramps up its medium-rise development activity at Benowa.

Rayjon, headed by John Hembrow, is selling the 3.7ha shopping centre site known as Urbia Burleigh with preliminary approval in place for a major $350 million mixed-use expansion of the site.

The Burleigh property has formed the backbone of the low-profile developer's assets since it was acquired in 1981, and the company originally laid plans to develop the Urbia Burleigh concept in 2010.

The project was shelved following the city's property bust, although Hembrow has long harboured ambitions to bring it to fruition.

However, since then he has since started work on the $180 million Vantage Gold Coast, a 357-unit residential project adjacent to the RACV Royal Pines Resort in Benowa.

Vantage, which has achieved sales to date of more than $21 million, is being developed alongside the Benowa Village Shopping Centre shopping centre, taking shape on a site sold by Rayjon to Coles Supermarkets.

Hembrow's decision to sell Urbia Burleigh is aimed at capitalising on a growing appetite for developments on the Gold Coast with the site earmarked to become a major urban and transport hub for the central city region.

"Our advice is that the Gold Coast property market currently offers the best conditions in many years for the sale of premium property assets such as Urbia," says Hembrow.

"At the same time our focus is on delivering the Vantage Gold Coast project to the highest standard.

"These two factors taken together persuade us the time is right to realise the fruits of our 35-year investment in the Urbia Burleigh site."

Treetops Plaza is anchored by Coles and has 31 specialty stores, but the masterplan for the Urbia site allows for an extension of the centre's footprint to include development of office buildings and apartment towers of up to 20 storeys.

In total, the site will accommodate up to 650 residential apartments.

The Urbia Burleigh site is being sold through expressions of interest in a campaign conducted by Savills' national director Peter Tyson.

Tyson says the tightly held sight will generate significant interest, with investor appetite for blue-chip sites 'running hot'.

"Large-scale quality sites in the major cities are increasingly hard to find, especially in the southern capitals.

"Major institutional and private investors both within Australia and offshore are looking hard at the Gold Coast.

"Treetops Plaza is a well-established centre developed in 1992, with a proven track record of performance and a strategic location on the corner of two major arterial roads opposite Bunnings and at the heart of the fast-growing Burleigh, Reedy Creek and Varsity Lakes catchment.

"The fact that it offers an existing strong income stream together with approvals in place for major upscale makes it a very appealing asset."

Author: Nick Nichols





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