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Joint Venture for Newmarket development announced

19 August 2002

Joint Venture for Newmarket development announced

Westfield Trust announced today it has entered into a joint venture with Auckland One Ltd, the owner of the Two Double Seven shopping centre in Newmarket, to collectively own and redevelop their joint land holdings in Newmarket, in Auckland, New Zealand.

Auckland One CEO Michelle McKellar and Westfield NZ Director John Widdup made the announcement with the Mayor of Auckland City, Hon John Banks.

Newmarket is one of Auckland’s premier retail markets and the combination the land holdings, representing approximately seven hectares, will allow for a new master plan development, which will build on Two Double Seven’s fashion statement. The development is expected to comprise department stores, discount department stores, fashion precincts, restaurants and cafes. The site has the ability to incorporate an office park and other uses to complement the total Newmarket city centre project. The joint owners are committed to starting the development as soon as possible.

“This joint venture allows us to work closely with the Auckland City Council, who have actively promoted the joint venture, to integrate the project with existing transport infrastructure, so we can create a world-class inner-city development for the people of Auckland,” said John Widdup, Westfield NZ Director.

Under the joint venture, Westfield Trust has:

- sold a 50% interest in its property holdings in Newmarket for [$NZ26.5 million];

- acquired a 50% interest in Two Double Seven for [$NZ73.7 million]); and,

- acquired a 50% interest in Auckland One’s additional land holdings facing Broadway, for [$NZ22.8 million];

Westfield Holdings has been appointed by the joint venture partners to manage and develop all the properties.

Background

In 1999 the St Lukes Group (pre the amalgamation with Westfield Trust) bought the old Mercury Energy building in Newmarket and has since acquired nearby properties that make up an area of approximately 2.9 hectares.

These properties are immediately adjacent to the Newmarket railway station and bus terminal and have access on to the Broadway retail main street.

Auckland One is the owner of the Two Double Seven Shopping Centre and several adjacent properties of around four hectares. Auckland One bought Two Double Seven in 1992 and has acquired the adjoining land near the centre over the past five years.

Two Double Seven currently comprises a Woolworths supermarket, 61 specialty shops, 9,079 m2 of office space and 523 carparks. The centre is currently fully leased and is expected to achieve sales in excess of $NZ130 million in the forthcoming year.

The development will create approximately 10,000 permanent and part-time retail jobs and 13,500 construction jobs. A substantial investment will be made by both joint venture partners in the project.

“By joining forces we can now offer the Auckland retail market icon retail facilities in a location which is in the middle of the best retail market in New Zealand,” said John Widdup.

Auckland One Chief Executive Michelle McKellar said “The joint venture with the Westfield Trust is both positive and logical. This is the best way to create a truly international inner-city development in the premier location of New Zealand.”

ENDS


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