Business as usual

The Shops at Ellenbrook is expected to be sold by the end of the year.
The Shops at Ellenbrook is expected to be sold by the end of the year.

Insurance Commission of WA (ICWA) has included The Shops at Ellenbrook as part of what is expected to be the largest direct property sale in the State�s history.

The estimated $800 million asset sale includes three St Georges Terrace towers, The Shops at Ellenbrook and Livingston Marketplace Shopping Centre in Canning Vale.

The assets form part of ICWA�s $4.4 billion investment portfolio.

Commission secretary Kane Blackman said the sale would have no impact on retailers or current leases.

�We expect significant interest from international and domestic buyers for The Shops, which is a prime retail asset with development potential,� he said.

�Professional developers may be able to undertake the development more readily and more rapidly than if the Shops remained owned by ICWA.�

Locals are already responding to the news on social media by listing new outlets they would like to see added in any new development. The wish list includes a cinema and a food court.

The commission has owned the land where The Shops is located since 2003 and expects it will be under new ownership by the end of the year.

ICWA carried out stage one and two of The Shops development during the 2000s. The first stage, completed in December, 2004, saw 10,000sq m of retail space and 36 new shops opened up, while stage two started in 2010 and added 19,400sq m of retail space.

Stage three of The Shops involves extending the centre towards Pinaster Parade, with space for a discount department store (tipped to be Aldi), three bulky goods retailers and a hardware store.

Retail giant Savills manages The Shops at Ellenbrook but centre manager Shane McClean said he could not comment until further sale details were known.

ICWA will re-allocate sale proceeds into indirect property investments and other investment classes, meaning the funds would not be used to pay down State debt.

Treasurer Mike Nahan said ICWA�s decision to sell its direct property assets would allow it to focus on its core insurance functions.

�Commercial property development is not generally a primary function of government agencies,� he said.