Victorian planning minister Richard Wynne has approved a $500 million development at Westfield Doncaster, in Melbourne’s east.
Owners SCentre Group, ISPT and Asia Pacific Fund, plan to build a 14-level apartment complex on part of the asset.
The consortium is also proposing a two-storey podium with 43,000 square metres of retail at the complex’s north-west corner.
About 18,000 sqm of office area will also be added to the centre at 619 Doncaster Road, on the north-east corner of Williamsons Road.
Upon completion, the asset will contain 166,000 sqm of lettable area.
This would make it one of the biggest retail complexes in the country, following Westfield Sydney, Westfield Chermside and in Victoria, Westfield Fountain Gate and Chadstone Shopping Centre (the latter Australia’s largest mall, with more than 215,000 sqm of retail area).
It would be larger than Highpoint, Westfield Knox, Eastland and Westfield Southland.
The proposed Doncaster development will create workspace for c2900 people.
“The upgrade will include an expanded bus interchange, improved car and pedestrian access within the centre and additional car parking,” Mr Wynne added.
“Melbourne is already the nation’s retail capital and this major expansion will cement its reputation for the years to come,” according to the politician.
“This project will create thousands of jobs, draw thousands of shoppers from across the world, and will be a major boost to Victoria’s economy (story continues below).
“The retail industry is one of Victoria’s most important employers, providing over 300,000 jobs across Melbourne and regional Victoria,” Mr Wynne said.
“Figures released earlier in January by the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed that Victorians spent a record $78.9 billion on retail sales over the past year”.
Member for Eastern Metropolitan, Shaun Leane, added “the expansion to Westfield Doncaster will create thousands of local jobs and make this shopping district even better”.
“We’ve listened to community feedback on this development and now we’re making sure it gets underway”.
Built in 1969, the facility was last refurbished – and doubled in size – in 2008.
SCentre Group owns 50 per cent; the balance is controlled equally by ISPT Core Fund and Asia Property Fund.
This morning, the former sold a half share of its Westfield Burwood complex in Sydney, to Perron Group, for $575m.
As part of the deal, the vendor will retain management.
The pair co-control other shopping centres including Westfield Woden in the ACT.
In Victoria the consortium owns Westfield Geelong and Westfield Airport West.