The Queen Victoria Building (QVB), The Strand Arcade and The Galeries are the Sydney CBD’s most iconic retail assets.

In 2017 Vicinity Centres, a global leader in retail asset management,  exchanged a 49 per cent share in Chatswood Chase shopping centre on the lower North Shore with GIC, the Singapore sovereign wealth fund, for a 50 per cent stake in the illustrious trio in a deal worth $556 million.

 In the biggest CBD shopping centre transaction since the Vicinity swap, Link REIT, the largest real estate investment trust in Asia, has acquired a 50 per cent stake in the coveted retail landmarks for $538.2 million. Two years ago, the company also bought the 100 Market Street tower for $683 million.

Speciality shops are the major drawcard of all three centres, notably beauty and health. The QVB is home to Aveda,  Bath & Body Works, Dermalogica, Innisfree, Kiehl’s, L’Occitane, Lush, Mecca Maxima, Parfums Christian Dior, Oz Hair & Beauty and The Body Shop. The Strand Arcade hosts Aesop, Mecca and Men’s Biz. While The Face Shop, The Body Shop, Shaver Shop and gentSac are leading stores in The Galeries.

At the beginning of 2020, the centres had a combined MAT (moving annual turnover) of AUD$613 million, attracting 61 million visitors a year. With 200 metres of frontage on George Street, the QVB has one of the biggest footprints in the Sydney CBD’s retail precinct and is Australia’s largest Victorian era arcade.

Simon Rooney, head of retail capital markets for CBRE.

According to Simon Rooney, head of retail capital markets for CBRE, Australia’s largest commercial real estate services company, who helped broker the deal – “Assets of this scale, quality and reputation are rarely sold and in the case of the Queen Victoria Building, The Strand Arcade and The Galeries, this was the first time the portfolio had been offered to the market. These iconic centres are regarded as among the best in Australia and dominate Sydney’s core retail precinct, which is positioned for recovery following the end of lockdowns as workers, tourists and shoppers return to the CBD.”

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