Nick Collishaw is developing affordable accommodation for tourists and retirees.

Nick Collishaw will form a new group focusing on affordable accommodation and the affordable retirement sector after he steps down as Centuria Group’s head of listed funds early next year.

Mr Collishaw, a former chief executive of Mirvac Group, will remain on the Centuria board but believes it is time to concentrate on other ventures.

Centuria announced executive changes late on Tuesday.

Mr Collishaw told The Australian: “What we are looking for is solutions for what faces all Australians: it’s bloody expensive to live.” He said: “I’m not leaving Centuria, but I am stepping away from the day-to-day operations.

“I will remain on the main board, Centuria Capital, and will join the boards of the responsible entities for funds management,” Mr Collishaw said.

“It frees me up to concentrate on my own interests.”

Mr Collishaw is developing in Canberra, with the first stage, a 480-bed group accommodation project, recently completed and the second stage to include a motel with the capacity for 180 beds along with 140 cabins.

“Its effectively affordable tourist accommodation,” he said.

A new group would form for the affordable retirement venture with a number of sites identified. . “I have been spending a lot of time looking at retirement,” Mr Collishaw said.

“There are opportunities in retirement because of dissatisfaction with existing ­operators.”

Concerns in the retirement sector have been well publicised and have drawn government and regulatory scrutiny in the wake of a Four Corners/Fairfax Media investigation this year alleging high fees and unfair contracts by listed operator Aveo. Two class actions have been flagged.

At Centuria, the head of unlisted funds, Jason Huljich, will take over Mr Collishaw’s role.

Centuria has been active launching a takeover bid for listed rival Propertylink Group — owner of a $1.8 billion property portfolio — which has been ­rejected by the target.

Meanwhile, Centuria sold Swire House at 10 Spring Street in Sydney this week to a Lendlease fund for $270.05 million after paying $91.64m for the office building ­in 2013.

Mr Collishaw said there had been two other bidders for the property with offers that were only slightly below the sale price.

“People have been calling the top of the market too early,” Mr Collishaw said.

Even if interest rates increased 25 to 50 basis points, there was likely to be a further two years of tightening capitalisation rates, particularly in the suburban market, he said.

TURI CONDON ~ The Australian, September 28, 2017


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