JDAP granted approval for the upgrade, subject to a number of conditions, at its meeting in Busselton on 16 November 2015.
The Busselton Central Shopping Centre is owned by the Australian Unity Diversified Property Fund (DPF), an unlisted property fund that invests in retail, office and industrial properties in Australia.
Busselton is located approximately 230 kilometres south-west of Perth. Over the five years to June 2013, the City of Busselton experienced an average annual growth rate of 3.9 per cent*, which is significantly higher than the national average of 1.7 per cent over the same period. The residential growth area is also a popular seaside tourist destination and is recognised as one of Western Australia's premier tourist spots and events capital.
Ms Nikki Panagopoulos, property portfolio manager with Australian Unity Real Estate Investment, said JDAP’s approval was a significant milestone.
"This is the first step in developing Busselton’s main shopping centre, increasing in size by 40 per cent to 16,000 sqm. The expansion will include a discount department store, additional specialty shops, and an entertainment precinct with cafes and a restaurant.
"The plans for the expanded shopping centre include a food precinct with alfresco dining and a children’s playground as part of enhanced integration with Mitchell Park."
Ms Panagopoulos said JDAP’s approval also included a decked car park.
"This significantly increases the city’s car parking capacity in line with the Council’s planning scheme requirements," Ms Panagopoulos said.
The City of Busselton recommended approval of the plans which have been developed in consultation with staff and Council. Ms Panagopoulos said the advice and collaboration of the Council had been a significant factor in cementing the proposed development and helped foster confidence to proceed.
"The centre’s expansion focuses on current and future needs of the community, encouraging shoppers to the Busselton town centre and contributing to increased social and commercial vibrancy.
"The plans contemplate a staged construction to minimise disruption to the community and tenants," Ms Panagopoulos said.
Australian Unity Real Estate Investment (AUREI) is the property funds management business of Australian Unity Investments, part of the Australian Unity group, a national healthcare, financial services and retirement living organisation that has been operating for more than 175 years.
AUREI was established in 1998 and, through its unlisted property funds, owns and manages more than 50 properties in the healthcare, retail and commercial sectors across Australia. It has more than $1.8 billion in funds under management (as at 30 September 2015).
*Source: South West Development Commission website (Australian Bureau of Statistics and Western Australian Government)
Australian Unity Property Limited ABN 58 079 538 499, AFSL 234455 is the Responsible Entity for the Australian Unity Diversified Property Fund.
is the property funds management business of Australian Unity Investments, part of the Australian Unity group, a national healthcare, financial services and retirement living organisation that has been operating for more than 175 years.