March 31 2011

The final stage of the $125m redevelopment of Westfield Belconnen is now complete, with the official opening of the fashion and lifestyle centre taking place at 9am on Thursday 31 March.

Westfield Group Managing Director Steven Lowy AM and ACT Chief Minister Jon Stanhope will be joined by international model and Canberra local Anneliese Seubert to declare the centre officially open.

The 92,000m Westfield centre has undergone total refurbishment and now has more than 260 specialty stores through a new fashion and lifestyle precinct, entertainment and dining precincts and a fresh food market. The centre also has parking for more than 2,800 cars and 340 bicycles, with direct links to the recently opened undercover bus station and lounge.

Westfield Belconnen’s redevelopment generated around 400 construction jobs and on completion provides an additional 300 jobs in retail for the local community.

The grand opening of the final stage of North Canberra’s flagship shopping centre includes the addition of 20 new specialty fashion and lifestyle stores and a new-concept Target store, the second of its kind in Australia. An alfresco dining precinct on Lathlain Street with easy access to Hoyts cinemas will open in June this year.

New retailers include Max Brenner, Grill’d, Glue (opening mid April), Ally Fashion and Colette, all of which are new to market in Canberra. They join major stores Myer, Kmart, an upgraded Woolworths, a new, expanded Coles, a new Aldi supermarket, a new Harris Scarfe, a relocated Dan Murphy’s, a 10-screen Hoyts cinema, Toys R Us, Best and Less, Rebel Sport, JB Hi-Fi, Priceline and Dick Smith.

Westfield Group Managing Director Australia & New Zealand Robert Jordan said: “The final stage opening of Westfield Belconnen allows us to bring the very best in fashion, food and leisure to the local community. We believe the centre will change the way Canberrans shop, with a superior retail mix, entertainment and leisure and seamless integration with a vastly improved transport facility.”

The project’s first stage opening featured the addition of a new fresh food precinct and the new bus station and lounge which has direct access to the centre’s third level where the new fashion and dining precincts are located.

The centre’s new fashion precinct offers an improved retail mix that will be highlighted by UK celebrity stylist Gok Wan, who will be joining the opening week celebrations when he presents a live one-hour show on Centre Court on Saturday 2 April at 12.30pm.

In addition to the new precincts, existing malls have also been refurbished with new floor and ceiling treatments, and upgraded seating areas and soft furnishings enhance in-centre ambience.

Westfield recently celebrated its 50th year in Australia, and has been in Canberra for almost 25 years.