LONDON-A joint venture of two pension funds, Australia-based APGand the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, has agreed to pay$1.4 billion for a 50% interest in the retail portion of StratfordCity. Westfield is investing $2.3 billion on the large mixed-useproject, of which the retail portion will encompass 1.9 millionsquare feet.

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The value of the property is raised by being the gateway toLondon Olympic Park, which will host the Olympic and ParalympicGames in 2012. About seven million people spectators are expectedto pass through the Stratford City project during the Games,according to a Westfield statement.

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Officials with APG and Westfield did not return calls forcomment. A Canada Board spokeswoman tells GlobeSt.com that thisinvestment will stand the test of time. “Sure, we’re in arecession, but we’re long-term investors, we tend to invest for30-to-40 years. We know that this project has a lot going for it,such as its location, the catchment area, near transportation and afirst-in-class partner with Westfield, which has created some ofthe best retail centers in the world. This is a very solidinvestment,” she says. Graeme Eadie, SVP for real estateinvestments at the Canadian fund, said in a statement that theStratford City retail “will deliver stable cash flows.”

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The retail portion is already 75% leased or committed, andincludes anchors such as John Lewis, Marks & Spencer, Waitroseand an all-digital Vue theater. When finished in Q3 2011, theretail portion of the project will include more than 300 shops and50 restaurants, according to Westfield.

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The entire Stratford City project also will include 1.1 millionsquare feet of office, an apartment complex and two hotels,including a 267-room Premier Inn and another 350-room hotel thathas not been branded yet. The JV did not invest in the non-retailparts of the project.

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