Whilst the acquisition of a 1970’s convent might not be for all buyers, AGEM Property Group’s Managing Director, Adrian Fiore, said the sites fundamentals and potential for adaptive reuse of buildings were compelling.
“I can’t say it’s a typical style of acquisition for us but in this market it’s not often you come across a property with 36 bedrooms, 2km from the coast and 20min from the CBD. On our first inspection we realised the existing buildings could appeal to a wide range of tenants and the site itself had a number of longer term redevelopment options”
“As WA grapples with an unprecedented level of demand for accommodation, interest from potential tenants has come from far and wide.” said Mr Fiore.
As reported in WA Business News last week, residential rental vacancies dropped from roughly 3 per cent in 2019 to 0.7 per cent in 2023, with Perth now among the tightest rental markets in the country. Whilst these numbers help highlight the heat of the traditional housing market, similar pressures are being felt across other sectors also desperate for accommodation.
“We’ve engaged the team at ACORPP to help us run an Expression of Interest (EOI) process and identify the most suitable tenant to lease the facility. It’s fair to say the interest they’ve received so far has been widespread – from NDIS operators and student housing through to respite type facilities. The site sits next to a childcare centre and primary school so we also need to ensure the type of tenant we select can manage the site appropriately and compliments the local community”.
Prior to committing to the acquisition, another significant consideration was the Local Government municipality in which the site was located, including an assessment of potential uses allowed for under their local planning scheme.
Neil Teo, Director of Dynamic Planning, and AGEM’s Town Planning consultant for the site, said being located within the City of Joondalup was a positive factor and one which resonated well during due diligence discussions.
“We’ve worked with AGEM on dozens of planning applications and a number of those have been within the City of Joondalup. The parties have developed a solid working relationship over the years, and we’ve found Joondalup’s planning team to be genuinely committed to trying to deliver good outcomes for both landowners and the local community. We may not agree on all aspects of an application, but The City’s willingness to discuss and workshop solutions gave us all confidence that we’ll be able to find a suitable tenant for the site”.
Subject to relevant approvals, the property has potential to support a range of uses which may include NDIS, student accommodation, respite, aged care, affordable or community housing, skilled worker accommodation, transitional care or similar.
The Expression of Interest process is now open and closes on 14 February https://www.acorpp.com.au/expressions-of-interest/