Investors await DJs property plans

David Jones is expected to update investors on its property strategy at the first-half results presentation on Wednesday.

David Jones is expected to update investors on its property strategy at the first-half results presentation on Wednesday.

The update could include plans to redevelop its flagship Sydney and Melbourne assets to include some new residential component.

In September last year, the department store chain said it had appointed real estate consultants Cushman & Wakefield to value the four stores it still owns, two in Sydney and in Melbourne.

The value was a combined $612 million, with the store in Elizabeth Street in Sydney among the most valuable due to its air rights above the existing seven floors.

In October, group executive of retail services Tony Karp was quoted as saying the retailer was "sitting on significant value and we are motivated to determine how best to monetise that value".

But the group is said to be reluctant to enter into any sale and leaseback of the prime city assets.

At the time the Cushman & Wakefield report was issued, DJs' directors made a commitment to give the market an update on development plans for the CBD properties at the interim results.

Early appraisals revealed the department store could add about 20 storeys to its Market Street, Sydney, property and three to five storeys to its Elizabeth Street store.

David Jones has looked at hotel and apartment options for Market Street but Mr Karp said an office development could be considered.

Citi analysts said the Market Street store was the most lucrative option: "We estimate $100 million to $150 million in value creation from a redevelopment."

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