Westfield Ventures into Residential Real-Estate in the U.S. and U.K.

Westfield has been making its mark in commercial real estate since 1959 building shopping centers in major cities around the globe like Australia, United States, and the United Kingdom.
In the latest move, the company has flagged plans for 8000 new high-end apartments across the two countries. The report came at a briefing for the company’s investors with Westfield looking to ante its property listings and portfolio within these two countries for residential projects. The new move should bolster the company’s growth, which has focused primarily on shopping mall ownership and operations over the last few decades.

The shopping center giant has investments interest in more than 40 shopping centers, 6487 outlets across America and Europe with total assets under management raking more than $29.3 billion as per latest estimates. Only last year, the shopping centers under Westfield Corporation around the world generated a whopping $16 billion in sales with more than 400 million visits to it shopping outlets. The new development plans for residential apartments is part of the aggressive growth plans of the organization looking to focus on its 19 flagship assets which represent the company’s 90 percent assets under management. Further plans of new centers have been linked in the cities of San Diego, Milan, and London.

The residential apartment plans for the US represents Westfield’s first major foray into the American residential apartments market. One such project has already been nominated in the city of California, with 1400 units slated for revamping the Promenade Mall if reports are to be believed. This move has been predicted by Morgan Stanley’s Brendan FitzPatrick which will see Westfield’s growth potential at somewhere around 3 to 4%. Brendan pointed out that the estimate development completions would be five times higher from 2016-2021 in comparison to 2012-15 which would further accelerate with the completion of Century City in October 2017.

However, Co-CEO Peter Lowy stated that although the company is taking on residential development projects, Westfield will only do so at its mall assets. “I don’t want anyone to think that Westfield is going to be a residential developer and go through the vagaries of the residential cycle,” said Lowy in a recent article.

Morgan Stanley has been keeping a close eye on the recent development of Westfield as this new move for residential complexes have suggested a substantial growth for the company for the fiscal year 2017-18.

The development of Century City in Los Angeles and the projects of Milan and Croydon haven’t been given a timeline for completion but Morgan Stanley expects the growth of the LA complexes by 2018. The projects in Milan and Croydon are expected to be finished by 2021 and are expected to shift the growth forecasts of the company.