Westfield Retail Trust has commenced the redevelopment of Westfield Fountain Gate in Melbourne which is expected to cost approximately $320 million.

Jointly owned by Westfield Retail Trust and Westfield Group, the current site is comprised of a retail shopping centre of approximately 81,000 square metres of gross lettable area.

In addition to bulky-goods, homemaker and peripheral pad sites which make up the 137,100 square metres of gross lettable area on the site, the retail shopping centre includes Target, Big W, K-Mart, Woolworths, Coles, Bi-Lo, Aldi, Village cinemas, eight mini-major tenancies and approximately 254 specialty retailers.

According to Westfield, the centre is the highest grossing discount department store based shopping centre in Australia with retail sales over $700 million, currently valued at approximately $880 million.

Westfield Retail Trust managing director Domenic Panaccio said the redevelopment is an investment and the centre is seen as a high growing asset for the company.

“The redevelopment will greatly enhance the current retail offer, further capitalising on the centre’s strength, and will deliver good investment returns in the years to come,” he said.

As part of the new look, the centre will clude a full-line Myer department store which will anchor new parallel malls over two levels, a relocated new format Coles supermarket, an expanded Target store, and around 122 new tenancies adding a further 34,600 square metres of gross lettable area to the existing shopping centre.

The completion of the project is expected in late 2012.