History

Scentre Group was established on 30 June 2014 through the merger of Westfield Retail Trust and Westfield Group’s Australian and New Zealand management business.
Scentre Group was created to own, manage and develop Westfield shopping centres in Australia and New Zealand. A separate company – Westfield Corporation – was created to own, manage and develop Westfield Group’s international shopping centre portfolio. Although Scentre Group’s portfolio of high quality shopping centres continue to feature the distinctive Westfield brand and benefits from the Australian and New Zealand management expertise that previously served the Westfield Group. In 1960, Westfield was listed as a public company on the Sydney Stock Exchange (ASX) and began developing shopping centres in Australia before establishing a business in the United States in 1976. It later expanded to New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Europe. Throughout its history, Westfield underwent several capital restructures, all aimed at meeting the needs of the market at the time and delivering better growth prospects for investors. In December 2013 Westfield Group announced that its Australian and New Zealand business, and its international business, had both increased in scale and quality to a point where each could operate more efficiently and generate greater growth and value for investors by being independent.

The story of the Westfield group

The story so far

A visual journey of Westfield’s evolution, as told by its co-founder and executive team.

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The Westfield Group timeline

1950s

July 1959
The first shopping centre in Blacktown

In July 1959 John Saunders and Frank Lowy opened their first shopping centre - Westfield Plaza in Blacktown. With 12 shops, 2 department stores and a supermarket, people flocked to see the plaza which newspapers of the day described as 'the most modern American-type combined retail centre'. By year-end Westfield Plaza was established as Blacktown's commercial hub.

1960s

June 1960
GOING PUBLIC ON THE AUSTRALIA STOCK EXCHANGE

Westfield was incorporated in June of 1960, and shortly afterwards, Saunders and Lowy issued a prospectus for its listing on the Sydney Stock Exchange. In September Westfield Development Corporation Ltd was floated with the issue of 300,000 ordinary shares at a price of five shillings each.

1961
WESTFIELD’S FIRST PROJECT

The first purpose-built centre, funded by the recent float, opened at Hornsby at a cost of £345,000. With 22 stores - and generating 250 jobs in retail - it played a major role in attracting residents to the area.

December 1962
SYDNEY GROWTH

By the end of 1962, the Westfield portfolio had grown to eight centres either completed or under development in Sydney.

OCTOBER 1966
A MAJOR OPENING

In 1966, when Burwood opened, it was praised as one of the most beautiful indoor shopping centres in the world. Burwood was the first shopping centre with a major department store, and importantly, was the first centre to be branded with the Westfield logo

SEPTEMBER 1967
INTERSTATE EXPANSION

In 1967, the company opened Toombul in Queensland.

SEPTEMBER 1969
WESTFIELD DONCASTER OPENS

Westfield opens Doncaster in Victoria.

1970s

1970
NEW HEAD OFFICE AT WESTFIELD TOWERS

Sydney's William St, the eastern corridor to the city, was earmarked to become a grand boulevard in the early 1970s. Westfield bought 2.6 acres fronting William St, and while the dream to transform the precinct was never realised by city planners, Westfield's global headquarters remained there until 2011.

1972-76
A STEADY GROWING PORTFOLIO

During the 1970s Westfield consistently laid the foundations for what the company would become today. In the space of a single decade, six new centres were built and another five redeveloped including Indooroopilly in Brisbane and Parramatta in Sydney.

1975
GAINING FINANCIAL SOPHISTICATION

By continually fine-tuning its financial strategy, Westfield's profit before tax from income-producing properties rocketed to 85 per cent in 1975. Although they were operating in economically unsettling times, Westfield's directors were certain that increasing rental income would be sufficient to maintain profitability.

MARCH 1977
ENTERING THE UNITED STATES MARKET

Although Westfield had been keeping an eye on the US since the late 1950s, it wasn't until a shift in oversees regulations took place that the company made its first US acquisition in Trumbull, Connecticut on the east coast of America. Today Westfield has more centres in the US - 55 in total - than in any other market.

JULY 1979
CAPITAL REORGANISATION

In 1979 Westfield remodelled its capital structure with the establishment and listing of Westfield Holdings Limited and Westfield Property Trust to meet changing trends in the capital market.

1980s

MULTIPLE DATES 1980
ACQUISITIONS IN AMERICA

In 1980 Westfield acquired three new centres in the United States, in California, Michigan and Connecticut. The company also acquired the Macy's portfolio in 1986, and established its United States head office in Los Angeles in 1987. By 1988 there were seven centres in Westfield's US portfolio worth $1.1bn.

APRIL 1982
THE WESTFIELD TRUST

After three profitable years of The Westfield Property Trust, regulation changes from the Federal Government persuaded Westfield to consider a different structure, and in 1982 Westfield Trust was floated on the Sydney Stock Exchange as a successor to Westfield Property Trust.

1983
CLIFF YOUNG WINS THE WESTFIELD MARATHON

At 61 years of age, and a potato farmer by trade, Cliff Young became the unlikely winner of an ultra-marathon race from Sydney's Westfield Parramatta to Melbourne's Westfield Doncaster. He denied himself sleep and raced with a signature energy-conserving shuffle to gradually overtake the other competitors and finish with a new course record.

JULY 1985
WESTSIDE PAVILION

In a series of firsts, the Group undertook a major redevelopment at Westside Pavilion, Los Angeles, after demolishing most of the existing centre. The new mall featured the first rooftop carpark in the United States, and was the drawcard that finally brought department store Nordstrom to Los Angeles.

1986
BIDDING FOR THREE MACY’S CENTRES

Westfield made business headlines when it outbid other parties to successfully acquire three prestigious centres in the Macy's transaction. The acquisition included the powerhouse centre Garden State Plaza in Paramus, New Jersey.

NOVEMBER 1987
JOHN SAUNDERS STEPS DOWN

After 30 years of partnership, John Saunders relinquished his active management in Westfield, stepping away from the business entirely in 1990. That same year, new centres opened at Chatswood and Eastgardens in Sydney.

1987
CHATSWOOD & EASTGARDENS

Two major Sydney centres opened in 1987, at Chatswood and Eastgardens, which became home to Australia's first cinema in a shopping centre.

1988
FULL STEAM AHEAD

Warrawong in Wollongong opened in 1988, and redevelopments were completed at Figtree, Southland, Parramatta, Marion, Belconnen and Strathpine, as well as Indooroopilly and Hurstville.

1990s

1992
GROWTH IN AUSTRALIA

In Australia major redevelopments were completed at Doncaster (Melbourne) and Liverpool and Miranda in Sydney. On its completion, Miranda became Australia's largest shopping centre and the first with more than 300 stores.

1994
WESTFIELD TRIPLES ITS’ U.S. PORTFOLIO

Westfield tripled the amount of space it managed in the United States with the US$1 billion CenterMark transaction, which saw the Group acquire 19 centres across America including Topanga, and Plaza Bonita in California and Annapolis in Maryland.

1994-1996
PORTFOLIO EXPANSION CONTINUED

Portfolio expansion continued in Australia with redevelopments, openings and new centres coming under the Group's management. Across the decade 16 centres were redeveloped and the portfolio grew from 21 to 30 centres.

July 1996
WESTFIELD AMERICA TRUST

Westfield America Trust was listed on the Australian Stock Exchange enabling Australian investors to make direct investments in the US retail property market.

April 1997
WESTFIELD ENTERS NEW ZEALAND

Westfield entered New Zealand after assuming management of the St Luke’s portfolio, the country's largest shopping centre group with 10 centres across 4 cities.

NOVEMBER 1998
TRIZECHAHN PORTFOLIO

Westfield acquired the US$1.4 billion TrizecHahn portfolio adding a further 12 properties to the Group's Californian portfolio, making it that state's biggest shopping centre operator. Following the US portfolio growth, a significant branding opportunity became apparent and every centre owned by the Group in the United States was branded Westfield.

2000s

February 2000
WESTFIELD IN THE UNITED KINGDOM

Westfield entered the United Kingdom with the acquisition of a centre in Nottingham followed by the establishment of a joint venture interest in nine centres in prime town centre and urban locations.

AUGUST 2000
SYDNEY 2000 OLYMPIC GAMES

In Australia, the Group was a major sponsor of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

SEPTEMBER 2000
WESTFIELD BRAND IN NEW ZEALAND

In New Zealand the Group acquired the NZ$920 million St.Lukes portfolio, branding the centres Westfield.

DECEMBER 2001
WESTFIELD IN THE HEART OF SYDNEY

The Group acquired Sydney's Centrepoint shopping centre - the home of the iconic Sydney Tower and site of the future Westfield Sydney City.

2002
U.S. AQUISITIONS

Nine shopping centres were acquired in the United States in the US$756 million Richard E Jacobs transaction. In the same year the US$2.3 billion Rodamco transaction added another 14 malls to the Group's American portfolio, and consolidated its position as one of the largest retail property groups in the United States.

October 2003
AMP SHOPPING CENTRE TRUST

Westfield acquired the $1.9 billion AMP Shopping Centre Trust, adding interest in a further nine high quality shopping centres. The Australian portfolio grew further with the strategic acquisition of Sydney Central Plaza in the city's CBD.

JULY 2004
BIRTH OF THE WESTFIELD GROUP

Westfield Group was born when Westfield Holdings, Westfield Trust and Westfield America Trust merged in the company's most significant corporate restructure, creating the world's largest retail property group by equity market capitalisation.

2004-2008
GLOBAL FLAGSHIP CENTRES

Flagship centres opened at Bondi Junction in Sydney, Century City San Francisco in California and Doncaster in Melbourne while redevelopments continued globally (more than 20 since the decade's beginning) peaking in 2007 with the completion of five projects in four countries over four weeks.

OCTOBER 2008
UK’S LARGEST SHOPPING CENTRE

The United Kingdom's largest urban shopping centre opened at Westfield London. The £1.7 billion flagship centre opened with more than 280 stores and attracted 23 million visitors in its first year.

2010s

OCTOBER 2010
WESTFIELD SYDNEY LAUNCHES

Westfield Sydney has changed the face of retailing in downtown Sydney and its mix of domestic and international luxury and high street retailers, and the premium dining precinct has seen the centre achieve the highest specialty sales productivity in the Group's global portfolio in its first year.

AUGUST 2011
A NEW FRONTIER

In 2011 Westfield expanded into Brazil establishing a joint venture, Westfield Almeida Junior Shopping Centers S.A, which owns five properties - three operating centres and two under development - in the southern state of Santa Catarina. The total portfolio covers around 157,000 square metres of retail space with 900 stores in what is now the world's sixth-largest economy.

SEPTEMBER 2011
WESTFIELD STRATFORD CITY

The gateway to the London 2012 Olympic Games, the £1.75 billion Stratford City opened with 175,000 square metres of retail, commercial, entertainment, and leisure space serving a catchment of more than 4 million people. The centre is also one of the UK's most sustainable, generating 75% of its own energy requirements.

DECEMBER 2013
AUSTRALIA & NZ BECOME INDEPENDENT FROM INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Westfield Group announced that its Australian and New Zealand business, and its international business, had both increased in scale and quality to a point where each could operate more efficiently and generate greater growth and value for investors by being independent.

JUNE 2014
SCENTRE GROUP CREATED

Scentre Group was created on 30 June 2014 through the merger of Westfield Retail Trust and Westfield Group’s Australian and New Zealand management business.