Westfield opens NZ$210 million Westfield Albany
01 November 2007
Countries: New Zealand
The Prime Minister, Rt. Hon Helen Clark officially opened the NZ$210 million Westfield Albany shopping centre development in Auckland today joined by Mr Steven Lowy, Group Managing Director, Westfield Group.
The official opening marks the completion of the second stage of Westfield Albany, featuring the countrys largest Farmers Department store, over 140 speciality stores, restaurants, and cafes. JB Hi-Fi, Borders, Bond & Bond, Babycity, and Number 1 Shoes are amongst the extensive retail offer.
Westfield New Zealand Director Justin Lynch said, The completion of Westfield Albany; our first greenfield and largest development project to date in New Zealand is a landmark occasion for the company.
Westfield Albany brings the very best retail, entertainment and lifestyle experiences from around the world here to Albany.
Westfield entered the New Zealand market and then purchased the St Lukes Group portfolio of shopping centres. From the initial investment of around NZ$1 billion in 2000, Westfield has continued to reinvest in the New Zealand economy. The value of the Groups investment now exceeds NZ$3 billion and we plan to invest a further NZ$500 plus million in our New Zealand assets over the next 3 – 5 years.
Westfields investments in New Zealand have more than 7,000 full time construction positions and approximately 6,000 full time retail positions to date. Westfield Albany alone has created more than 1,500 new retail jobs.
Westfield worked closely with the North Shore City Council to ensure that the centre met the needs of the community and the centre was integrated with the facilities available in the area including the North Harbour Stadium, Massey University and Albany Village. The centre boasts convenient access from the Northern Motorway and to the North Shore bus interchange.
Westfield Albany has attracted leading retail and entertainment brands to create a state-of-the-art shopping, community and entertainment hub for the region.
The centre consists of 53,000 sqm of retail, space and houses 3 major retailers; Farmers, Kmart and New World Supermarket, 147 stores, a 550 seat foodcourt and parking for 2,300 cars.
A 10-screen SKYCITY cinema complex is due to open in the first quarter of 2008 offering the latest technology in projection, sound, screens and comfort levels with stadium seating and deluxe seats.
The project is fully leased and will open ahead of budget and programme. The initial yield will be in excess of 11% on the NZ$210 million cost, thereby being accretive to earnings and producing substantial development profit.
The Westfield Group (ASX Code: WDC) is the worlds largest listed retail property group by market capitalisation. It is an internally managed, vertically integrated, shopping centre group undertaking ownership, development, design, construction, funds/asset management, property management, leasing and marketing activities and employing in excess of 4,000 staff worldwide. It has investment interests in 119 shopping centres in four countries, with a total value in excess of A$60 billion.
Westfield Albany is owned by the Westfield Group (ASX Code: WDC) which has investment interests in 12 shopping centres in New Zealand with a value of over NZ$3 billion, comprising 0.3 million square metres of retail space and 1,600 retail outlets.