A local management consultancy has bagged the contract to manage a $575 million makeover of a major shopping centre in Melbourne’s outer east.

Last week, Brisbane based QIC Global Real Estate appointed Think Projects Pty Ltd to manage the expansion of Eastland Shopping Centre in the Melbourne suburb of Ringwood.

The centrepoint of plans to create a local retail hub, the redevelopment will see the volume of retail space available throughout the centre expanded from 80,000 square meters to 127,000 sqm and will feature around 150 new stores including a large David Jones department store as well as a new restaurant precinct and a pedestrian link to a recently opened Costco store.

The project will also see the creation of a new town square which will form a pedestrian ‘spine’ between the centre and what will be a newly developed rail/bus interchange, and which will include a new library, learning and cultural center as well as landscaped central green and pedestrian areas.

For Thinc, which in October secured the contract to manage the redevelopment of the Flora McDonald aged care site for Mary McKillop Care SA in Adelaide, the redevelopment is one of its largest ever projects in the retail sector in Australia – the firm’s previous work in this sector down under including a number of roles on the Waterfront City project in Docklands in Melbourne as well as the development of the Watergardens Entertainment and Leisure Precinct in Melbourne’s north-west.

Originally set to start in late 2009, construction finally commenced in late October and is scheduled for completion in 2016, with the first stage due to open by Christmas 2015.

Upon opening the project in October, state premier Denis Napthine indicated the expansion would generate around 1,600 jobs during construction and 1,700 ongoing retail employment opportunities.