MARKETS SPECTATOR: Mall makeover

Westfield stock has been buoyed by the group's plans to redevelop a shopping centre on the outskirts of Sydney.

Westfield Group shares rose as much as 1.5 per cent after Westfield Retail Trust told the ASX the owners of Westfield Miranda, a 108,000 square meter shopping mall 30 kilometers south of Sydney’s central business district, will spend $435 million to redevelop the retail complex.

At 1313 AEST, Westfield Group shares had risen 17 cents, or 1.4 per cent, to $12.13, against a 0.5 per cent fall in the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index, while Westfield Retail Trust had lifted 3 cents, or 1 per cent, to $3.20. 

Westfield Miranda is owned by three investors: Dexus Wholesale Property Fund which has a 50 per cent stake while Westfield Trust and Westfield Group each have 25 per cent shareholdings.

Westfield Trust says its share of the project cost is $109 million. It expects a forecast yield of 6.5-7 per cent. The project will increase the total area of the mall by 19,000 square meters to 127,000 square meters of gross lettable area.

The redevelopment will include a new Woolworths store, a fully refurbished Myer, 100 new specialty retailers and a 10-screen cinema complex. Westfield Miranda is located in an area of 380,000 people.

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