Wingate has acquired a 75 percent stake in the $70 million Byron Bay retail development, the Mercato on Byron. This significant new retail centre will be anchored by a Woolworths Supermarket and will include a nine-screen Palace Cinema alongside restaurants and specialty stores.

The project is a joint venture with Azzura International Constructions. Wingate’s Managing Director Property, Mark Harrison, said the opportunity to work with an experienced local developer was attractive to Wingate.

“Mercato on Byron is the first commercial development of its kind to be approved in Byron Bay in many years, and there’s strong demand for quality retail space.” The centre is expected to be the first regional shopping centre to receive a 5 Star Green Rating, representing Australian best practice. Even the demolition of the existing shops will trigger a significant recycling project, with 80 percent of the material to be reused.

“Sustainable buildings are in high demand by tenants and are increasingly valued by customers. Green building features such as electric vehicle charging facilities, grey water systems, bicycle parking and solar panels are just a few of the features that will help this property stand apart.” Mr. Harrison said.

Construction on the Jonson Street site is set to commence early next year.

Wingate has been particularly active in recent years, investing in more than $5 billion of commercial assets. The Mercato on Byron acquisition follows the sale of an Erskineville development site for $70m, in which Wingate was a joint venture partner. Other recent Wingate direct property investments include:

• a majority interest in the acquisition of a 12 building portfolio of multifamily residential properties in New York and,

• the $96m purchase of Charter Grove, an A grade commercial property in St Leonards, believed to hold substantial upside by way of rezoning to mixed use.

Wingate also recently partnered with Sanitarium, one of Australia’s most trusted brands, and a leader in innovative breakfast foods, to expand its business into the UK.