Mall Giant Westfield Corp Adding Apartments to Portfolio
Westfield Corporation is best known for it’s high-end shopping malls. They currently have malls in the UK, US, and Italy. The 35 malls comprise almost 6,500 retail shops which produced $16 billion in sales for 2015. They are now (slowly but surely) entering into the residential real estate development arena.
Can a company known for delivering a quality, high-brow, retail experience to consumers, also provide the comfort, safety, and convenience of home-life?
New Growth Potential
According to their own website, Westfield is eager to polish their portfolio by, “…exploring opportunities in new markets.” This year, Westfield has been approved to build apartment complexes in the UK and the US. While real estate development is a strange cousin to retail, what they do have in common is property management. At present, Westfield has no intention of selling their residential units but, rather, entering into the REIT venue, while creating a deeper, consumer experience.
Breaking Ground in the UK
Westfield’s West London mall has been approved to add 1,347 residential apartments. Because these apartments will be attached to the mall, the redevelopment will include 665,000 square feet of high-quality retail outlets, residential space, and miscellaneous shops. Westfield Strattford has been approved for 1,105 apartments.
Plans Underway in the US
According to news-site SNL, Westfield has already been approved to add 300 residential units to its University Towne Centre (UTC), San Diego. This La Jolla location presently includes, boutiques, outdoor plazas and, landscaped gardens. To be sure, casual and fine-dining will be found alfresco in their common areas. Westfield is, also, applying for development approval at 14 of their other current US mall locations.
Creating a Consumer Engagement Concept
Westfield has always been in the business of creating quality, consumer, experiences through their high-end retail shops, communal malls, cinemas, restaurants, and service related outlets. They consider themselves to be an integral part of their community, while enhancing it socially and economically. It should be noted that their presence, in the UK alone, has generated thousands of job opportunities.
They recently acquired a Tony Award-winning Producer, which further expands their opportunity to satiate an insatiable consumer. The Co-CEO’s, Peter and Steven Lowy, have stated that, “They are very excited about being in the entertainment space.” Now, residential real estate development will be added to their repertoire.