Westfield to expand in Canberra

One of Canberra’s largest shopping centres looks set for a redevelopment, with Westfield Group (ASX: WDC) working with the government on plans for the proposed revitalisation.

According to The Australian, the Woden shopping centre – which is around 72,300 square metres in size and is owned by Westfield, Westfield Retail Trust (ASX: WRT) and GPT’s (ASX: GPT) wholesale shopping centre fund – is due for attention, with plans to add a new bus station connected with a larger Westfield centre.

Last year, it was revealed that Westfield planned on buying around 7,000 square metres of land from the ACT government to allow for the proposed expansion, which would add around 30,000 square metres of retail space to the existing centre. It is currently expected that all works are to be completed by mid-2016.

Meanwhile, after a $780 million upgrade to Westfield’s and Westfield Retail Trust’s Belconnen mall in 2011, the group has also received approval to build three buildings along Emu Bank in Canberra, which will be built next to the mall as “signature buildings.”

Foolish takeaway

The redevelopments are a part of Westfield’s plans to strengthen its property portfolio by expanding on its most profitable stores and divesting its weaker assets. The group has also recently announced its interests in a project which would see it re-enter the Brazilian market in Rio de Janeiro.

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Motley Fool contributor Ryan Newman does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article.

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