Westfield America Trust expands portfolio in Florida

30 September 2003

Countries: United States

Westfield America Trust announced today that it has acquired a 100% interest in Sarasota Square shopping centre in Sarasota, Florida for US$77 million at a yield of 8.4%.

Sarasota Square is an 893,000 square foot (89,000 square metre) regional shopping centre anchored by Burdines, Dillard’s, JCPenney and Sears, with 108 specialty shops

The single-level centre was originally built in 1977, expanded in 1979 and again in 1989, and is the largest mall in the Sarasota market. The centre’s total annual sales for 2002 were approximately US$127 million with specialty store sales productivity at approximately US$320 per square foot.

Sarasota Square caters to a trade area of 261,000 people which is projected to have one of the highest growth rates in the US over the next five years. Households in the area have an average income of US$65,300.

Westfield has identified opportunities to increase Sarasota Square’s income over the short term as well as further potential to boost the centre’s long-term income through redevelopment, said Westfield Managing Director Peter Lowy.

The centre adds to Westfield America’s retail cluster in Florida and follows the acquisition earlier this year of Southgate Plaza also in the Sarasota market, Mr Lowy said.

Sarasota Square increases Westfield America’s market presence to five regional centres in the greater Tampa-St. Petersburg cluster and 65 in the US. Westfield’s other portfolio holdings in the Florida market cluster include Westfield Shoppingtowns Brandon in Brandon, Citrus Park in Tampa, Countryside in Clearwater and Southgate in Sarasota.