$400m plan to double Garden City

YOLANDA ZAW

Garden City shopping centre in Booragoon will double in size to become WA’s biggest shopping complex and one of the 10 biggest in the country under a new $400 million redevelopment plan.

AMP Capital, which manages more than 30 shopping centres in Australasia, announced yesterday it would expand Garden City from 72,000sqm to 120,000sqm of gross lettable area, eclipsing Westfield Carousel in Cannington, currently WA’s biggest shopping centre at just over 80,000sqm.

The project will include a David Jones store, a supermarket and fresh food precinct and an outdoor dining area linked to the cinema.

AMP Capital shopping centres managing director Bryan Hynes said despite the lull in the Australian retail market, premium shopping centres were performing well.

“Sales have been subdued across the country but customer traffic at our portfolio shopping centres has been consistent and we’ve seen strong sales growth in the past three months,” he said.

“Garden City has the highest per square metre of specialty sales in WA.”

Mr Hynes said there was international interest in Australian retail that would drive growth.

“I see interest from international brands as a vote of confidence in the Australian retail industry,” he said.

WA Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief James Pearson said major investment in Perth retail was a “big tick” for extended trading hours.

“The message to WA politicians is clear — the private sector will invest in retail if the rules encourage them to do so,” he said.

The redevelopment of Garden City will create about 450 jobs during construction and 850 permanent retail jobs.

The shopping centre will remain mainly single storey, with new retail areas to be built on a carpark.

The project is expected to take 18 months with work starting early next year.