Redevelopment work in the Grand Central shopping center in Toowoomba will see it almost double in size in the next few years.The $500 million ($US 437 million) project will increase the mall’s total retail area from 46,000 m2 to 90,000 m2. In addition, the number of car parking space at the center will double, to reach a total of 4000 once the project is completed.
Grand Central is already the biggest shopping complex in Toowoomba, in the Queensland region of Australia. The new construction work to make it even bigger is expected to be completed by early in 2017.
Steven Leigh is the Managing Director of QIC Global Real Estate, the owners of the center and of the former Gardentown Shopping Center nearby. He confirmed that the construction will include a two level retail gallery linking Grand Central to the Gardentown center and will add more fresh food, dining options and fashion outlets to the mall.
Work Has Already Started
Mr. Leigh confirmed that construction work has already started and that the project will result in new supermarkets and discount department stores, as well as around 160 new specialty retailers. He called the area around the center “vibrant, diverse and burgeoning”, with the shopping center at the heart of it.
QIC initially owned 50% of Grand Central but bought out the other 50% from the Coles Myers Group when work on constructing it was completed in 1996. In 2009 they then bought out the Gardentown site, with the idea of using it as part of the redevelopment and expansion of Grand Central.
As for Toowoomba, this growing, inland Australian city is strategically located to be the service center for the resource rich Surat Basin region. Over $11 billion is being invested here currently, in projects such as the Brisbane-West Wellcamp Airport and the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing.