THE $500 million redevelopment of Grand Central has hit another milestone, with works beginning on the installation of the shopping centre's façade.
Constructor Probuild will be erecting precast concrete panels as part of the façade on the Margaret St side next week.
The project is continuing apace with more than 50,000 man hours of work done during August.
During that time workers removed 30 swimming pools' worth of bulk earthworks from the site and poured 1000 cubic metres of concrete in one pour for the Dent St retail bridge, bridging across QR railway and bringing total concrete poured for the year to date to 12,000m³.
Workers have also reached the bottom level of the basement car park, 10m below street level.
Grand Central centre manager Shaine Beveridge said the group was positive about the future of retail in Toowoomba.
"That's why we're investing $500 million into a redevelopment of our centre that will transform it into the region's unrivalled retail, entertainment and lifestyle destination," he said.
Mr Beveridge said construction was well advanced.
"Once completed, our centre will have doubled in size and will feature new discount department stores Kmart and Big W and new supermarket Woolworths, bringing about 160 new specialty retailers to the centre."
Mr Beveridge said Grand Central's vision was to create a magnetic destination for the community that embodied the pride, tradition, culture and opportunity of Toowoomba and the Darling Downs region.
"Site demolition works were finalised earlier this year and Probuild has advised foundation works are well under way, with about 60% of the building area complete.
"As work at the site continues to ramp up, Probuild has advised they are targeting to employ a total of 50 local apprentices and trainees, with 12 local apprentices and trainees currently on the site."
Mr Beveridge said research by Grand Central and retailers proved the area was experiencing increased demand for more retail shops.
Once completed the development will incorporate new fashion stores, a fresh food precinct and a new alfresco dining destination that will include restaurants, cafes and street food.
It will also include a two-level retail galleria linking the current centre to the redevelopment.
- Grand Central is investing $500 million into the redevelopment of its centre
- The centre will double in size to about. 90,000 square metres
- Due for completion in late 2016
- Estimated 1500 jobs created during the construction phase
- Local employment: 75%
- Creation of about 1000 additional local retail jobs
- Centre will feature Kmart, Big W, Woolworths and about 160 new specialty retailers
- Cranes on site currently: 3
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