Australian Unity has secured approval for the next stage of the Busselton Central Shopping Centre’s development that will see the addition of a new Coles supermarket as well as specialty retailers.
Works are slated for commencement in stages over the next 12 months. The first stage is the reconfiguration of the internal mall and introduction of the new Coles supermarket which is currently scheduled to commence within months, and expected to be finished in time for the Christmas trading period. The remainder of the development on the east side of the centre is likely to commence in 2019.
Nikki Panagopoulos, Fund Manager at Australian Unity overseeing the development, said it was critical to invest in developing the shopping centre because of the centre’s role in the local Busselton community and its prime position in Busselton’s central business district.
“We recognise Busselton Central Shopping Centre as an important retail precinct and driver of economic growth for the local community and CBD. These works will create jobs for Busselton in construction and in retail as new space opens for business.
“We also expect the revitalised centre to act as a draw-card for the local community’s entertainment and cultural events” she said.
Ms Panagopoulos said that the works were needed to ensure the centre kept up with Busselton’s surging growth and to ensure that retail spend stays in the local economy.
“It’s no secret Busselton is booming. The South-West is the state’s most visited regional area, and the population is forecast to grow by nearly 50 percent by 2026. We’ve worked with the local council to ensure this investment will expand and re-configure the shopping centre to cater for Busselton’s growth”, Ms Panagopoulos said.
Ms Panagopoulos said shoppers would face some interruption while the works were underway, but assured them it would all be worth it.
“We look forward to the new Coles opening for trading in the coming months and seeing new retailers and new brands opening in time for the Christmas trading period”.
Busselton Central Shopping Centre forms part of Australian Unity’s Diversified Property Fund and the new lease with Coles is a win for investors in the Fund who will benefit from the long-term income stream from a nationally recognised brand.
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About Australian Unity
Australian Unity is a national health, wealth and living mutual company providing services to almost one million Australians, including more than 280,000 members. Australian Unity’s history as a trusted mutual organisation dates back to 1840. It has grown organically—by continually evolving to provide the services and products needed by the communities it serves—as well as through successful strategic mergers and diversification in to new business activities.
About Australian Unity Diversified Property Fund
The Diversified Property Fund owns eight commercial properties across Australia that are actively managed by a dedicated, specialist property team. The Fund is genuinely diversified by geography and by property sector. For investors, the Fund has delivered strong, steady income distributions, particularly since Australian Unity took over its management in October 2010.