WESTFIELD UTC OPENS $180 MILLION REVITALIZATION
San Diego, CA – Westfield UTC today celebrated the opening of its $180 million revitalization featuring the addition of a sophisticated new dining terrace, new shops, full service restaurants and new lifestyle and entertainment choices such as San Diego’s first ArcLight Cinemas, a 14-screen, 1,800-seat luxury theater experience, an expanded 24 Hour Fitness Super Sport club and several retailers completely new to the San Diego market.
The impressive renovation and expansion included transformation of the entire center site into a retail-resort inspired experience, including alfresco dining, new A-list retailers and entertainment — all inviting shoppers to “Escape… Everyday.” A number of new retailers including Splendid, Eureka!, Tesla Motors, Seasons 52 and ArcLight have chosen Westfield UTC as their first locations in the San Diego market, joining other popular new arrivals such as Tiffany & Co., J. Crew, Tender Greens and Elixir.
The revitalization meets LEED Gold certification standards by employing sustainable practices and green building design, technology and materials to ensure environmental, economic and social benefits. It also generated approximately 2,400 new jobs, including nearly 1,000 construction jobs.
“The grand reopening of the Westfield UTC shopping center is a huge benefit to the local economy,” said San Diego Mayor Jerry Saunders. “Westfield should be commended for making this substantial investment in our community, providing exciting new retail opportunities for the entire region.”
The UTC community, city officials and special guests celebrated the Grand Opening on November 15th with a world-class series of events including VIP ribbon-cutting, fashion show hosted by fashionista Giuliana Rancic and a musical performance by international pop star Natasha Bedingfield.
“We are delighted to welcome our customers to the revitalized Westfield UTC,” said Greg Miles, Westfield’s U.S. Chief Operating Officer. From a company perspective, this project exemplifies our ongoing commitment to San Diego combined with application of international experience and global best practices, investing not just in bricks and mortar, but in new concepts designed and tailored for each market. What we unveil today takes the UTC experience to a whole new level.”
The entire look and feel of UTC has been updated and upgraded with new flooring, fixtures, lighting and landscaping. The revitalization has enhanced the relaxed, comfortable atmosphere, giving it a casual open-air look. Storefronts have been made taller and transformed into High Street-style shops, accentuating new and existing retailers alike. Additions like “The Gardens” offer an educational opportunity for kids of all ages, and the special “High/Low” fountains and grass patches accommodate customers’ four-legged friends. Children’s play places, family lounges and interactive community gathering spaces provide a welcoming environment for all to enjoy. Common areas of the one million square foot center offer free WiFi, and family parking has been added to underscore UTC’s commitment to family-friendly conveniences and amenities.
The UTC grand opening follows on from the recent establishment of Westfield Labs in San Francisco along with successful completion in Australia of the redevelopment and expansion of Carindale in Brisbane (A$310 million) and Fountain Gate in Melbourne (A$340 million), as well as the strong performance of Westfield Stratford City in London, with more than eight million customer visits during the Olympics and Paralympics and resulting in 47 million customer visits generating 896 million of retail sales in its first year.
As part of its global portfolio, Westfield designs, develops, owns, manages and leases award-winning shopping venues in landmark cities around the world. Among the company’s iconic retail destinations are: Westfield London and Westfield Stratford City in the U.K.; Westfield Bondi Junction, Sydney, Australia; Westfield San Francisco Centre; Westfield Century City in Los Angeles and Westfield Sydney. Upcoming Westfield world class retail icons will include Westfield World Trade Center (opening in 2015) and Westfield Milan in Italy.
The Westfield Group (ASX Code: WDC) 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 approximately 4,000 staff worldwide. The Westfield Group has interests in and operates one of the world’s largest shopping centre portfolios with investment interests in 105 shopping centres across Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Brazil, encompassing approximately 23,000 retail outlets and total assets under management of A$62.9 billion. In the U.S., the Group has a portfolio of 47 shopping centres that are home to more than 7,900 specialty stores and comprise approximately 56 million square feet of leasable space in California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio and Washington. Westfield UTC is a joint venture between Westfield and institutional investors advised by J.P. Morgan Asset Management – Global Real Assets.
J.P. Morgan Asset Management – Global Real Assets has approximately $63.2 billion in assets under management and more than 400 professionals in the U.S., Europe and Asia, as of September 30, 2012. With a 40-plus history of successful investing, J.P. Morgan Asset Management – Global Real Assets’ broad capabilities provide many of the world’s most sophisticated investors with a global platform of real estate, infrastructure, maritime/transport and energy strategies driven by local investment talent with disciplined investment processes consistently implemented across asset types and regions.
This release contains forward-looking statements, including statements regarding future earnings and distributions. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees or predictions of future performance, and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, many of which are beyond our control, and which may cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in the statements contained in this release. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on information available to us as of the date of this presentation. Except as required by law or regulation (including the ASX Listing Rules) we undertake no obligation to update these forward-looking statements.