Pitt Street Mall opens today with Westfield Sydney Stage 1 launch

By @ibtimesau on

Sydney's main shopping street Pitt Street Mall opens today after two years of construction with Westfield Group (ASX: WDC) inaugurating the first stage of the $1.2 billion Westfield Sydney redevelopment project six months ahead of schedule. The first stage features 130 fashion and food specialty stores open for trade.

Westfield Group Managing Director Steven Lowy said,"Today marks the reopening of Pitt St Mall, and Westfield Sydney will set a new standard for shopping centres in Australia."

"We're very excited to open the first stage of the project, some six months early, and look forward to seeing this centre become an essential shopping and dining destination for the people of Sydney, and the 26.8 million domestic and international visitors who come to Sydney each year.

"When complete, we believe the centre will become one of the iconic downtown retail destinations in the world, with a completed value - including the office precinct - of more than $3 billion."

Located in Australia's best retail area on Pitt Street Mall and bordered by Castlereagh and Market streets, the centre sits between the country's highest-performing department stores, David Jones and Myer.  Floorspace rents in Pitt Street Mall is the highest in Australia, and the eighth highest in the world in terms of city streets.

The precinct integrates three former retail centres; Centrepoint, Imperial Arcade and Skygarden and also incorporates Sydney Tower and the former Sydney Central Plaza totalling 92,000 square metres (sqm) of retail space across all sites.

A further 120 stores will open between November 2010 and late-2011. The opening of a 25-storey commercial tower at 85 Castlereagh Street will mark the completion of the total project, anticipated to be in early 2012.

The office component will comprise around 76,500 sqm across three buildings. J.P. Morgan's Australian headquarters will be housed on 85 Castlereagh St with an area of 33,000 sqm, while the 30,000 sqm tower at 100 Market St is now home to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. A third tower at 77 Castlereagh St has 13,500 sqm of commercial space. 

The photograph accompanying this article has been released to public domain by John Rotenstein.