Realty-focused PE firm SC Capital buys landmark Canberra office for $43m

Canberra, Australia. Photo: Social Estate/Unsplash

Asian real estate investment firm SC Capital Partners has bought a Canberra office complex, Finlay Crisp Centre, for $43 million (A$62 million), through its RECAP Fund series.

Singapore-based SC Capital said in an announcement on Wednesday that it had entered a binding agreement to purchase the landmark building in Australia and will now work on upgrading it. The firm has partnered with local asset manager Artifex Property Group for a planned $34.6 million (A$50 million) refurbishment.

With a total net lettable area of 28,519 square meters, Finlay Crisp Centre comprises three adjacent buildings, each with their own basement car parking, storage levels and entrance. Customs House is a 12-level building, while Allara House and Nara Centre are six levels each with a central shared forecourt ideal for meetings and breakout spaces.

The building is currently fully occupied by Commonwealth and ACT Governments, with the planned refurbishment to commence upon lease expiry in mid-2020.

The property was sold off-market via Marc Giuffrida from CBRE.

Occupying an entire city block in the prime Civic CBD precinct, Finlay Crisp Centre is designed as a campus-style development with large floor plates and car parking. The property has four street frontages to Constitution Avenue, Allara Street, Nangari Street and London Circuit.

“This acquisition underlines our confidence in both the underlying property fundamentals and Canberra’s defensive office occupier market,” said Suchad Chiaranussati, Chairman of SC Capital Partners.

The RECAP series of funds from SC Capital has earlier acquired Mosaic in Osaka, Bollywood in the Maldives, Vault in Sydney, Phuket Square in Phuket, and Sukhumvit in Bangkok, Thailand. The firm has already raised four funds in the series and is now raising the fifth one.

The purchase in Australia comes just a day after SC Capital announced the acquisition of Rivervale Mall from Boston-headquartered AEW Capital Management for $170 million. The firm acquired the mall through its core-plus Asia-focused property strategy.

The core plus strategy is an open-ended fund where the firm keeps raising capital towards the fund and after a three-year lock-in period, or after 95 per cent of the fund’s equity has been invested (whichever is earlier), it gets opened up for additional capital raising.

Founded in 2004, SC Capital is an employee-owned real estate investment management firm with over $6.8 billion in assets under management.