The construction of GPT Group’s $200 million Wollongong Central expansion has begun.

Focused on revitalising the city centre and providing more non-discretionary retail options, the revamped Wollongong Central total 18,000 square metres, deliver the first Coles to the city centre, 80 new specialty stores and more than 600 additional car spaces.

Michael Cameron, CEO and managing director of The GPT Group said the commencement of construction was an important mark in the evolution of the Wollongong CBD.
“We’re delighted to be turning sod on the expansion of Wollongong Central today; a project that we believe holds an incredibly important place in this city’s future. We’re confident the expanded and revitalised Wollongong Central will play a leading role in transforming the city centre and we hope it will spur even more investment in this great place,” he said.
The expansion will also create 800 permanent retail jobs, deliver new retail, food and entertainment choices to the people of the Illawarra and significantly contribute to the revitalisation of the Wollongong CBD.
Food will be a key retail focus as the expansion seeks to respond to a dramatic undersupply in the heart of the city and will deliver new experiences and opportunities to locals.

“As well as catering to Wollongong’s culinary requirements, our emphasis on delivering fresh food-led retail outlets for Wollongong Central is in line with GPT’s broader strategy of underpinning core assets by weighting towards non-discretionary spending. The commencement of the extension is a further demonstration of the confidence GPT has in its portfolio and the continuation of robust growth for 2012,” 
Cameron said.

The West Keira expansion of Wollongong Central is set to take two years to complete.