Revelop goes from turnaround site to a greenfield retail focus

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Property developer and investor Revelop has bought another Sydney shopping centre just weeks after announcing its acquisition of Tramsheds retail and food complex in Sydney’s inner-west from Mirvac in late February for $52 million.

In its latest purchase, Revelop has paid more than $30 million to Greenland for a Coles-anchored centre with 15 speciality shops at the Lachlan’s Line development in Macquarie Park in a deal due to close shortly.

Charbel Hazzouri, left, and his cousin Anthony El-Hazouri are partners in Revelop. 

It also recently acquired Emerton Village – a 23-shop centre – in western Sydney from Fabcot, the development arm of Woolworths, and is working with the supermarket giant on new sites including Chisholm, Calderwood and Bingara Gorge.

Until Tramsheds, part of a large residential development by Mirvac at Harold Park, most of Revelop’s acquisitions have been turnaround plays.

Managing director Charbel Hazzouri said typically Revelop had bought older centres that needed refurbishment, new tenants and customers, but was now increasingly moving into greenfield site developments servicing major residential growth areas.

“The big thing we’re doing at the moment is town centre developments,” Mr Hazzouri said.

“We’re developing Lendlease’s town centre in Calderwood, we’re doing Avid Property Group’s town centre in Chisholm, and we’ve got two new town centres coming up, one in Box Hill and another in Dural, that we’re currently working on.”

Sub-regional retail space

Run by Mr Hazzouri and his cousin Anthony El-Hazouri, Revelop has expanded quickly and been particularly active in the sub-regional retail space over the past few years.

Two were acquired from Adelaide property mogul Con Makris: Newton Village for $35 million in early 2020 and the City Cross Shopping Centre in Rundle Mall in a $60 million deal last February.

“For us, we’re enjoying the retail space. It’s about using access to our tenants on the retail side to actually fill these centres up and make them thrive,” Mr Hazzouri said.

“We manage the entire process, the marketing, the management, everything is done internally, we can keep our hand on the pulse all way through. It’s very different to other operators, where they get an agent in to manage their assets.”

He said Revelop invested $10 million into Newton, which was bought at the beginning of the pandemic.

“Taking on that centre, we had about 80 per cent vacancy in the specialities, and through COVID we’ve had the complete refurb done, and it’s now 100 per cent leased and absolutely thumping,” he said.

Mr Hazzouri said Revelop was a long-term holder of all its assets – there are now 19 retail holdings, including those under development. It also owns more than 40 childcare centres and has a co-living business.

“We were a residential developer initially, and then we transitioned to childcare and boarding houses, where we partnered up with Hmlet,” he said.

“We’ve now taken over and started our own co-living business after they went bust.”

Hotels are also on the radar, he said, with Revelop purchasing a development site in the CBD earlier this year.

All investments are wholly owned.

Martin Kelly, Reporter AFR

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