One of Westfield’s biggest malls in Sydney at Eastgardens is set to be revamped with more international fashion retailers and cafes after the country’s largest listed landlord Scentre Group bought a half share in the shopping centre.
Scentre brought a $720 million half share in the mall in Sydney’s south-eastern suburbs, which is one of Australia’s top 30 shopping centres with total retail sales of more than $600 million.
The deal was struck on a cap rate of 4.25 per cent with Eastgardens’s owner, Tower Terrace Group, the legacy family property group of Westfield co-founder John Saunders.
The mall was fully owned by Tower Terrace and managed by Westfield which also owns and runs multiple other Westfield centres around the country.
The $720 million transaction was among the top five largest single-asset retail deals in Australia, selling agent JLL’s Simon Rooney said.
It follows the recent sale of a half share in Indooroopilly Shopping Centre for about $800 million late last year, the largest single-asset retail deal in the country.
Scentre Group chief executive Peter Allen said Eastgardens had significant redevelopment potential in its retail spaces as well as for potential mixed‐use projects like apartments.
The surrounding suburbs were undergoing significant renewal, he said.
“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,” Mr Allen said.
Westfield Eastgardens is regarded by Sydney’s planning authorities as a ‘strategic centre’ with strong forecast population growth.
Scentre will explore introducing more local and international fashion retailers and expanding the mall’s dining, entertainment and lifestyle offerings.
“Westfield Eastgardens offers a unique opportunity to create value through mixed‐use development including commercial, accommodation and education facilities,” he said.
Mr Rooney said Scentre’s acquisition was a “strong positive endorsement for the retail outlook.”
Originally built in 1987, Westfield Eastgardens was expanded in 2013 to around 84,220 square metres of total lettable area.
The mall is anchored by a Myer department store, Kmart, Big W, Target, a Hoyts cinema and three supermarkets: Woolworths, Coles and Aldi.