Scentre acquires $720m stake in Westfield Eastgardens

WestfieldScentre Group has acquired a 50 per cent interest in Westfield Eastgardens for $720 million from the Terrace Tower Group.

The south-eastern Sydney centre is currently one of the top 30 shopping centres in Australia, with total retail sales of more than $600 million.

The $720 million transaction is in the top five largest single-asset retail transactions to occur in Australia, according to property firm JLL.

It follows on from AMP Capital’s recent acquisition of a 50 per cent stake in Indooroopilly Shopping Centre for approximately $800 million, which was the largest ever single-asset retail transaction in Australia.

“In line with the group’s strategy, this transaction is a rare opportunity to invest in one of the highest quality living centres in Australia,” said Peter Allen, Scentre Group CEO.

Scentre said there was a “unique opportunity” for expansion and redevelopment of Westfield Eastgardens, including the introduction of local and international fashion retailers.

The landlord is also looking to create value via mixed-used development across commercial, accommodation and education facilities.

According to Scentre, Eastgardens is regarded by planning authorities as one of Sydney’s ‘strategic centres’, with a trade area that has strong forecast population growth and investment in infrastructure including increased public transport.

JLL’s head of retail investments Australasia Simon Rooney, who brokered the sale, said the acquisition is a “strong, positive endorsement for the retail outlook”.

“There is strong investor appetite for major, core retail assets within the Sydney metropolitan area which are rarely available to purchase and are benefiting from supportive demographics and the solid New South Wales economy,” he said.

Investor sentiment is positive toward core retail assets such as major regional shopping centres, continued Rooney, with owners repositioning their portfolios toward defensive and high quality retail assets which will continue to attract leading retailers and capture a growing share of consumer spend.

The Westfield currently houses 290 retailers, has 3,263 car parking spaces and annual customer visits of 11.8 million.

Located 10 kilometres south-east of the Sydney CBD, the centre is anchored by a Myer department store; three discount department stores, Kmart, Big W and Target; three supermarkets, Woolworths, Coles and Aldi; and a Hoyts cinema.

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