WESTFIELD Kotara will get an $88 million "third shopping mall" if its latest redevelopment plans are given the green light by the Joint Regional Planning Panel.
Under the expansion proposal placed on public exhibition by Newcastle City Council, an extra 5855 square metres of retail space would be created on level two, representing an 8 per cent increase to the overall size of the centre.
The new shopping precinct - containing two international mini-major retailers - would run parallel to the existing two malls between Kmart and the food court.
It would be lined by 34 specialty shops, a combination of new and reconfigured existing outlets.
The plans also include a new "leisure-orientated" retailer on level three next to the new rooftop precinct, the relocation of the Kmart store and Autobay, and the creation of an additional 189 rooftop parking spaces.
The extra spots will lift the total number of parking spaces at the centre from 2906 to 3119, a surplus of 14 above what is required under planning controls. Additional express ramps will also be installed.
Shoppers are already spoilt for choice, with Westfield Kotara and nearby Charlestown Square both undergoing multi-million dollar expansions in recent years.
Westfield’s $55 million rooftop precinct was unveiled last November and earlier this month the Newcastle Herald reported part of the level two car-park had been closed to make way for a mini-major retailer.
However in a statement of environmental effects, it was argued the latest expansion was “modest” and was necessary in light of “improvements at other centres...catering to market demand through provision of highly sought-after international retailers.”
“The development therefore reflects current market practice that will enhance the overall experience for customers,” it said.
Construction works are expected to create around 315 jobs for 12 months, on top of an extra 215 permanent retail positions at the centre.
A Scentre Group spokeswoman said it was “too early” to confirm which additional retailers would be coming to the centre.
The plans will be on public exhibition at Newcastle Council’s administration centre until August 1.