Retail centre Sunshine Plaza is set to begin its $400 million retail development after gaining final approval.
Aiming to position itself as the largest shopping centre on the Sunshine Coast, the Maroochydore based Plaza will expand from 73,000 square metres (sqm) to over 107,000sqm.
Developer GPT Group’s head of investment, retail, Scott Meehan, says the development will strengthen Sunshine Plaza’s reputation as the Sunshine Coast’s leading retail and leisure destination.
“GPT is excited to invest in the expansion of one of its best performing shopping centres, which is located in a market that should continue to benefit from strong population and tourism growth,” he says.
“This expansion will introduce more than 100 retailers to Sunshine Plaza, including the region’s first David Jones, which will reduce the need for local residents to shop outside the Sunshine Coast,” Meehan says.
Stores such as a new Big W, refurbished Myer and more than 100 new specialty stores will all be part of the refreshed retail mix. The centre will also feature new outdoor waterfront dining as well as two new multi-level car parks, taking the total of spaces to nearly 5,000.
Property developer Lendlease’s head of retail, Gary Horwitz, says extensive research into the local market gave them the information and data they need to complete a successful transformation.
“We are thrilled to be creating this amazing retail space for the Sunshine Coast,” he says. “The design will capture the community’s desire for a sophisticated experience whilst reflecting the Sunshine Coast’s rich natural beauty and relaxed coastal lifestyle.
“We are proud of our strong history at Sunshine Plaza, having delivered innovative and unique retail experiences which celebrate the outdoor coastal strengths of the region.
“The centre already achieves solid results, ranking second in Queensland for specialty sales productivity and performs significantly higher than the national benchmark.
“The current performance of Sunshine Plaza indicates a strong demand for an expanded retail offer.”
It is estimated that the redevelopment will generate up to 2,900 jobs during construction and approximately 2,300 additional retail positions once the project is complete. Construction is expected to start this month and will be completed by Christmas 2018.