Dutch giant buys Lakeside

HOLLAND-based integrated financial services giant ING Group has made its first foray into the Australian market, taking ownership of Lakeside Joondalup shopping centre.

The company also owns Perpetual Trustees, the Armstrong Jones Retail Fund, Mercantile Mutual and the Berings Bank.

Previously the WA Government held a half share in the shopping centre through its agency LandCorp with the Armstrong Jones Retail Fund. That share was sold for $58.5 million.

The joint venture agreement between LandCorp and Armstrong Jones gave either partner right of first refusal if the other decided it wished to sell.

Armstrong Jones general manager David Blight said the fund was not in a position to acquire the LandCorp share, but ING Real Estate was.

“In addition, the fund has retained its right of first refusal to acquire the remaining 50 per cent interest,” Mr Blight said.

ING Real Estate chairman Jan Doets said the Lakeside buy was part of a plan to acquire more property in Australia.

“Currently we have more retail projects under evaluation,” Mr Doets said.

Lakeside was opened in 1994 to provide a retail presence for the burgeoning northern city.

Lands Minister Doug Shave said the centre had recorded strong growth since it opened, with turnover increasing by nearly 11 per cent in 1998.

Planning forecasts indicated the centre would grow to 100,000 square metres of floor space in the next ten to fifteen years.

A six-cinema complex recently opened and a discount department store was under construction.

“At present 215,000 people live in the region and this is expected to rise to more than 500,000 by 2021,” Mr Shave said.

“Investment in Joondalup so far exceeds $1 billion. LandCorp has invested $125 million, other government agencies $200 million and the private sector more than $700 million.”

New infrastructure and commercial construction worth $120 million is planned or underway.

Projects include an $11 million aquatic centre, the $35 million Police Academy and extensions to the Mitchell Freeway.

LandCorp is a financially independent government authority that conducts major land and associated projects statewide.

LandCorp chairman Ross Hughes said the authority had been involved with Joondalup for around twenty-five years, through the then Joondalup Development Corporation.

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