$3.8m boost to Cairns education sector
A SYDNEY boutique property investment group has bought the Cairns Campus Student Lodge at Smithfield for $3.85 million.
The Centennial Property Group bought the 224-bed property through an expressions of interest campaign.
The relatively new group is run by directors and chartered accountants Lyle Hammerschlag and Jonathan Wolf and funds manager and marketing and distribution director Kim Kitchen.
Their portfolio includes the former Reader's Digest building in Surrey Hills, Sydney, a four-storey office building at Macquarie Park, Sydney, an eight-storey office tower at McMahons Point, Sydney, and the 117-room Ibis Hotel, Townsville.
The property will be overseen by Rydges Hotels and Resorts.
Far North area general manager Matthew Hurley said the management team would remain and there were plans to refurbish.
He said the hotel group would be using its skills and expertise to market the property to students in conjunction with James Cook University.
"It's an excellent opportunity for Cairns," he said.
Selling agent Danny Betros of CBRE Cairns said there was a lot of interest in the lodge from buyers in Cairns, nationally and from overseas, mainly Asia.
He said there were almost 50 inquiries and six good offers.
"I was bombarded and did a lot of inspections," Mr Betros said.
"It was a very good campaign and there were very keen buyers."
Mr Betros said the Centennial Property Group had a good understanding of student accommodation and the needs of its tenants.
"They will do the improvements the right way. I think we've sold it to the right buyer, which is very positive," he said.
"The sale of this asset is a massive boost to the education sector in Cairns and more specifically a great story for the North Queensland investment market."
The property is a full-service lodge with 78 refurbished strata-titled units (224 beds in total), mostly three bedrooms with a living room and an ensuite.
Itslocation is directly opposite James Cook University and a short walk to shopping centres.
It has a dining hall that can accommodate up to 150 people, a pool and entertainment and barbecue areas. The lodge has 83 car spaces on the 11,800sq m block.
It is the only major dedicated student accommodation facility in Cairns and was placed on the market in August after the receiver handed the keys back to mortgage investment fund LM Investments.
The property was built in 1998 and sold in 2007 for $10 million. It went into receivership in 2009.
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'Excellent opportunity': Cairns Campus Student Lodge will be overseen by Rydges Hotels and Resorts.