Mirvac Group has gained approval for its biggest retail redevelopment play in Australia – the $154.3 million expansion
of Orion Springfield Central, south of Brisbane. The expansion is line with Mirvac chief executive Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz’s
stated aim last year to place a greater
emphasis on the retail sector and unlock $800 million of redevelopment and expansion opportunities in the property developer’s retail portfolio. Mirvac’s decision to invest specifically
in Orion is also a response to the rapidly growing Springfield area, which last year attracted major building commitments from GE and AFL team the Brisbane Lions, Mirvac’s general manager for retail, Susan MacDonald, said the decision to proceed with Orion followed more than $100 million worth of separate retail redevelopments in north-west Sydney
and the Sunshine Coast. “This opportunity is about how best we unlock value from the development ·’ Ms MacDonald said. The expansion will add a further 31.545 square metres to the existing 37,175-square-metre centre. Orion also has council consent to expand to as much as 195,000 Square meters.
“Further development has to be sustainable and in line-with demand,” she said. We have been involved with Orion from scratch and we have been working on this redevelopment for the
past 12 months. The expansion will include new Event Cinemas, a Target and a Coles as well as 80 new specialty stores including additional fashion, café sand restaurants,
as well as community services and conveniences. Coles’ general manager for Queensland and Northern Territory, Mark Scates, backed the expansion and said it would provide a new shopping experience
and greater product choice. An additional 1200 car parks will be provided. Ms MacDonald said the expansion was “in response to customer feedback
and population growth in the Greater Springfield region and trade area”. Greater Springfield is ranked as the third-fastest growing statistical local
area in Australia with an average population growth of6.6 per cent according to the federal Department of infrastructure and Transport
Mirvac estimates that the Orion expansion will create about 440 construction- related jobs and more than 700 retail jobs on completion.
The Australian Financial Review reported last year that retail landlords were spending, or planning to spend, $U.5 billion on shopping centre developments and redevelopments around Australia, despite facing the toughest
market conditions since the global financial crisis.