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Bollywood restaurateur dishes out $3.5m to save ailing shopping hub

Bollywood restaurateur dishes out $3.5m to save ailing shopping hub

12 October, 2021

A Bollywood restaurateur partnered with a local property developer and dished out more than $3.5m to revive their neighbourhood shopping hub after Covid-19 forced businesses in the ailing centre to shut their doors.

Will Patel launched his popular Indian restaurant, the Bollywood Bar, at the Helensvale Village this year, but the Lindfield Rd centre’s future was in doubt with tenants hard hit by the pandemic.

Occupancy was less than 50 per cent when the run-down centre was listed for sale with Kris Racette, of Asset Property Sales.

It was purchased for $3,528,888 by Mr Patel and business partner, Nigel Mulitalo, a developer with the Coomera-based Ainat Group.

Over the six-month settlement period to August, the enterprising pair returned the complex to full capacity with all 15 shops leased, including four new tenants and a number of long-standing businesses.

Mr Mulitalo said he was a regular customer of the centre’s barber shop and was dismayed to see the local retail precinct in strife.

“I thought it would be a great opportunity to revitalise the centre if it came up for sale as it was half full and needed a facelift as well,” Mr Mulitalo said.

“We would like to see Helensvale Village become a local neighbourhood meeting hub.”

Mr Patel said a raft of upgrades would be carried out following the re-branding of the village, which was previously marketed as Helensvale Convenience Centre.

New seating areas would be introduced as part of a plan to retain a mixed retail profile including a variety of food outlets.

“It will be great to get feedback from the local community to see what they would like to see in the Helensvale Village should any vacancies become available as we are now fully leased.”

Property records show the complex was last purchased by an overseas owner in May 2006 for $3.1m.

The centre’s woes grew when the anchor tenant of SPAR Express vacated, leaving the former owner to step in so the supermarket could remain open for local residents until a new franchise owner was found this year.

By December, eight shops had stopped trading, including a butcher, medical centre and the much-loved Kiwi Fish and Chips store. It re-opened with new owners this year.

Marketing agent Mr Racette said the purchase was a turning point for the underperforming centre.

“The centre had persistent vacancies for at least 10 years but Covid was the breaking point,” Mr Racette said.

“While this complex is not for the faint-hearted, the upside potential is such that a measured investor can realise a substantial windfall gain through any number of possible strategies.”

The centre comprises 1126sq m of lettable area, secured under one title on a 4782sq m block.

It offers projected annual income of $475,000 or more based on full tenancy.