An established property fund management company is looking for local investors to help with an off market purchase of Inverell's Central Plaza for $11.3 million.
Nat Gen was established in 2019, and this is the fourth syndicate property trust they have formed, but the first outside of Queensland.
The Inverell fund will be structured with a debt ratio of 55 per cent - $6.2 million will be borrowed, and $6.6m will come from investor capital - with 20 per cent of that equity from local investors.
NatGen managing director Steven Goakes said his team provided their clients with well-considered, risk-managed investment opportunities. Mr Goakes said Inverell had all the elements the company looked for in an investment that would provide a steady income.
"We came to Inverell through an analysis of where we see value in investing," Mr Goakes said. "We were aware of the diversity of the economy, and it is quite good value purchasing with little opportunity to build competitive centres at a similiar price."
The retention of the CBD was a plus for the town, Mr Goakes said, as was water security and the range of big employers - Boss Engineering, Bindaree Beef, IRLX at the saleyards, mining, solar and wind farms. In fact, he worked for the company which helped set up the IRLX, so he was already familiar with the local business demographic.
"It all adds up to a good diverse economy with no part of the economy more than 20 per cent of the total production of the area," he said.
"So we see the centre having the opportunity to grow. We're very keen to keep that feeling of community around the CBD."
Mr Goakes said online shopping was mainly a problem for big retail, not the local shops.
"The sort of local retail, which is what Inverell is all about, it is going to remain strong because people still need to go and shop somewhere and have interactions," Mr Goakes said. "The human need to be together is one of the things that keeps local shopping strong and will continue to do so."
NatGen has joined the local business chamber, and Mr Goakes has met with the council. The company also has a firm policy on spending money locally. They will retain the current local manager Ron Berkley at Ray White once the deal is settled in April 2022 and use local business whenever possible.
"If we can get something in the local district, that's no more than 105 per cent of what we can get it for elsewhere, we'll spend the extra five per cent to buy local," he said.
The investment fund is now open and will close in six weeks. The minimum investment amount is $100,000.
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