In October 2006, Jonathan Bradhurst moved from Australia to Southern California and brought Westfield a new set of eyes for developing its seven properties in San Diego County.
"I think my way of looking at what we do, coming from an Australian background and bringing it to San Diego, has enormous potential uplift," said Bradhurst, senior vice president of U.S. development for Westfield.
Bradhurst said his role is to create and lead a team "in implementing the strategy (and) growing the property assets and value for our investors through redevelopment and investment" with the help of a multifunctional team. He has hired about five people this year, which makes them the first corporate presence in the county.
Westfield is a $60 billion business and is worth $2.1 billion in the asset value of properties the company controls in San Diego, according to Bradhurst. Aside from establishing an increased presence in the county this year, he also created a business plan to grow local assets.
During the summer, Bradhurst unveiled the $900 million investment plan to revitalize the Westfield UTC shopping center, which will add about 750,000 square feet of new space.
The "new UTC" is working with the U.S. Green Building Council to be the largest LEED-certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) regional shopping center in the state. The project will feature solar photovoltaic panels while using recyclable building materials and reclaimed water on landscape.
The economic impact of redeveloping the center will bring more than $60 million in annual tax revenues, almost $9 million annually for city services, more than $25 million for transportation and capital improvements in University City and $260 million for freeway and transit improvements. It will also provide more than 3,000 new permanent jobs and 5,500 design and construction jobs.
During 2007, Westfield's $100 million expansion makeover began at the Plaza Bonita mall. Bradhurst also launched the company's master plan permit with the city in November and circulated the environmental impact report, which is in the process of becoming finalized.
Along with business growth, Westfield sought community involvement. After October's wildfires, the company made a $100,000 donation to the American Red Cross of San Diego to assist with emergency aid. The center's parking lots were used as a staging area for emergency personnel and four served as pre-evacuation centers. Westfield also hosted a Halloween party for children in Rancho Bernardo.
Bradhurt said he plans on relocating his team next year at Horton Plaza while Westfield continues to expand its presence through the San Diego regional corporate office.