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1 City View Road

Investment

1 City View Road, Pennant Hills is a B-grade, suburban office building located in north-west Sydney. The property was offered to the market by a mortgagee in possession. CorVal acquired the property at an opportunistic price as it was able to act quickly and offered the vendor certainty. The property presented a degree of risk at acquisition, with some vacancy and near term lease expiries and the potential requirement to invest significant capex to retain tenants. CorVal acquired the property for a HNW trust in 2013 for $18.75m, which reflected attractive metrics that CorVal considered more than compensated for the risks identified.

Strategy

CorVal was attracted to this property given the sound fundamentals of the building – large, efficient, sub-divisible floorplates, good levels of natural light, excellent views and a high car parking ratio. CorVal’s strategy for the asset involved capitalising on these fundamentals and repositioning the building through targeted capex, cosmetic upgrades and disciplined institutional management to improve occupancy and drive rents, in order to maximise the net income and value.

CorVal implemented a capital works program that significantly enhanced the appearance of the property in a cost effective manner. The works included the refurbishment of the ground floor lobbies, façade treatments, external painting, bathroom and on-floor refurbishments.

CorVal secured new lease deals on more than 84% of the property, the most significant being a new whole floor lease to the NSW Government and a lease extension and expansion with the major tenant (NBN Corporation) over three floors, increasing the occupancy from 85% to 96% and the weighted average lease expiry from 2.6 years to 3.6 years. These new leases were also achieved on significantly higher rents.

Outcome

CorVal successfully executed the asset strategy in a shorter timeframe than expected and embarked on a sale of the property, presenting the investment as a high quality, suburban office building with the potential for residential redevelopment in the long term. To enhance its long term potential, CorVal also secured a call option over the adjoining property, thereby presenting buyers with the potential to acquire a very significant long term residential redevelopment site. This option was subsequently exercised by the ultimate buyer.

CorVal acquired the property for $18.75m in 2013 and sold it for $43.00m in 2015, delivering the HNW investors in this trust with a total return in excess of 50%.