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SEATTLE-Westfield Group of Australia has commenced a $224-million redevelopment of Southcenter Mall in Tukwila, WA that will add around 400,000 sf of retail space to the 1.3-million-sf center. Project completion is slated for the first half of 2009.

Westfield Southcenter is a 90-acre super-regional shopping center anchored by Nordstrom, Macy’s, Sears and JC Penney. Westfield Group managing director Steven Lowy calls the property “one of our best assets in the US.”

The redevelopment will consist of around 75 new specialty and lifestyle retailers, Borders, an AMC Theater, new dining terrace and restaurant precinct. Westfield expects the expansion of Southcenter to produce an annual yield of between 10% and 10.5% of the cost of the project.

Westfield acquired the mall in 2001. Four weeks ago it acquired the underlying ground lease for $200 million. The lease effectively gave the lessor a 50% interest in the income of the property, according to Westfield.

Westfield owns two other centers in Washington State, the 883,000-sf, 150-store Westfield Shoppingtown in Vancouver, WA, which is just across the Columbia River from Portland, OR, and Westfield Capital, a 600,000-sf regional shopping center located in Olympia.

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