Office parks in master-planned communities have flown under the radar in the past when it comes to commercial property investments, but the smart money is at last seeing their potential. And what’s not to like? These developments include residential so there’s a workforce at their doorstep and lots of cost-effective parking. That’s one of the reasons why I’m a big fan of office parks: anyone who drives understands the staggering congestion of our road network, so companies prize locations where their staff can live close and park on the premises. Planned office parks have first-rate road links to CBDs and in terms of the investment itself, the commercial buildings are usually new and can be purpose built. This means they come with maximum depreciation and associated tax advantages, long WALEs, and the capital growth potential that’s part and parcel with getting in early, on the ground floor of high-growth urban corridors.
Australia’s best master planned community of 2017 (according to the Property Council of Australia) is North Lakes, just north of Brisbane. (If you know that part of the world, you’ve definitely heard of North Lakes—you drive right past it to get to the Sunshine Coast, and it has a Westfield, an Ikea and Queensland’s only Costco).
Anyway, there’s been a recent sale there that has made me prick up my ears. A property syndicator has paid close to $7 million for a major building at Lakes Vista Office Park, North Lakes, with 6 (that’s right, 6!) tenancies, some to international companies, and will be offering it to wholesale investors. The building has 46 basement carparks (that’s one bay for every 30 square metres of lettable space).
Land between Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast is filling up fast: Moreton Bay Regional Council (where West Lakes is situated) recorded the biggest regional migration inflow in Australia in 2014/15, and continues to boom.
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