Responding to the growing population of western Melbourne, Highpoint Shopping Centre will be undergoing a $300 million expansion development program.

The owners, The GPT Group, GPT Wholesale Shopping Centre Fund and Highpoint Property Group will be investing into the development, which is set to commence in the first quarter of 2011 and will take approximately two years to complete.

In addition to the $150 million investment by the Wholesale Fund, of which GPT owns 21.9 per cent, GPT will directly invest $50 million in the development project.

The GPT Group CEO and managing director Michael Cameron said the developments is only a natural move to improve the retail portfolio of Highpoint Shopping Centre.

“The development represents a greatly improved Highpoint for customers and the western region of Melbourne with an extensively enhanced retail offer, the creation of significant job opportunities, improved traffic flow, new public spaces and sustainability initiatives,” he said.

As part the development program, the shopping centre will house the region’s first David Jones department store and approximately 100 additional specialty retailers, growing by 30,000 square metres to a total 156,000 square metres.

“We have for some time recognised that Melbourne is a market which represents growth opportunities for our company and in which David Jones is under-represented. The Highpoint region is currently serviced by only one department store which means there is an enormous potential for new department store entrant such as David Jones,” Paul Zahara, David Jones CEO, said.