Dollars and sense of syndicated property

Friday 2 January 2004

Q: I am looking at buying some syndicated commercial property. What would you advise?

By The Landlord

A: Over the past decade some operators have attempted to take syndication of commercial properties to the mass retail market. In no particular order, Waltus (now Urbus), St Lawrence Group and Dominion Funds (Money Managers). Their level of success has varied with Waltus the first to amalgamate, Dominion Funds followed suit in early 2003 and St Lawrence is currently undertaking the same task. St Lawrence has adopted a very innovative approach which is not compulsory. Collectively I would rate their score card approximately 4.5 out of 10 as some have been better handled than others. There are some individuals around the country who have been very successful (for them and their investors) in undertaking the same concept (syndicating commercial buildings for investors). These have not been "retail offerings" thus avoiding the requirement for a registered prospectus with the securities commission. Because of this constraint they have only been "offered" to informed investors or to those with personal connections to the syndicators. The underlying success keys are:

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