​Investa Office (‘Investa’) today announced it has finalised a 10 year lease over 2,741 square metres of super prime Pitt Street Mall space to international fashion retailer Forever 21 at Sydney Arcade, 400 George Street Sydney (the ‘Building’).

It will be the first Sydney CBD store for the brand following a five year search for a location of the calibre required to anchor the brand in Australia. The space will span three interconnected levels from lower ground to level 1, with prime street-level frontage to Pitt Street Mall, providing the brand with strong exposure within Sydney’s most sought after shopping precinct.

Space previously occupied by Adidas, Glue and Billabong will be amalgamated with an additional 1,200 sqm of lower ground storage space activated for retail use. Escalators will be installed to provide connectivity from the ground floor entrance off Pitt Street Mall to the lower ground and level 1.

Forever 21 offers competitively priced ‘fast fashion’ apparel and accessories for women, men, teens, and kids, operating over 480 stores globally. The company has been reviewing the Australian market for more than five years with its first Australian store to open in Brisbane in November 2014 and in Macquarie Centre, North Ryde in December 2014.

Greg Long, General Manager Sydney CBD Portfolio, Investa said: “Our retail strategy has been focused on repositioning the Sydney Arcade at 400 George Street to take advantage of strong demand from top quality brands who require high impact retail spaces in super prime locations.

Our ability to convert lower ground storage to retail space has enabled the owners to capture significant capital value uplift by adding further valuable floor space and attracting the lease covenants of quality retailers.”

400 George Street is a 51,223 square metre office tower and retail arcade located in the centre of the Sydney CBD, jointly owned by Investa Property Trust, Investa Commercial Property Fund and M&G Asia Property Fund. The Sydney Arcade incorporates over 4,800 square metres of prime retail space accommodating a range of leading Australian and international brands.

Jatin Malhotra, Director of Real Estate & Business Development, Forever 21 said: “Australia is a terrific market which provides great scale, enabling us to expand further in the coming years. Pitt Street Mall was always one of our top ten locations worldwide and we are thrilled to be opening.”

Michael Cook, Group Executive, Commercial Development & Leasing, Investa said: “While we are focused on owning quality Australian office real estate in core CBD locations, 400 George Street also provides us with exposure to the best retail real estate in Australia and we have optimised its value through active asset management in order to maximise returns for our investors.”

In addition to the Forever 21 transaction, Ben Sherman has relocated from the Building to The Galleries on George Street, with the vacated site now undergoing fit out for Ugg Australia. Once completed in October 2014, it will be the largest Ugg Australia flagship store in the world.

Alex Alamsyah, Senior Director Retail Leasing, Knight Frank, who acted for Investa said: “Australia is seen as an increasingly important retail market in the Asia Pacific region which until recently has not had the quality and breadth of retail choice as other major retail centres such as New York, London, Paris, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Pitt Street Mall is the most tightly held retail market in Australia and this transaction further demonstrates the appeal of the precinct to international retailers such as Zara, Uniqlo, Sephora, H&M and now Forever 21, who are entering the market and securing the highest profile space available.”

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