A $90 million retail centre will be built at Bennetts Green, in what has been labelled the largest retail development in Lake Macquarie since the 2010 extension of Charlestown Square.
The first stage of the Spotlight Group development will house a relocated Bunnings Warehouse and Anaconda store, Lake Macquarie mayor Kay Fraser announced on Monday.
Construction at the 30,000 sqm Pacific Highway site was given the green light by the state government in September.
The site once had approval for a Masters, but was sold to the Spotlight Group after the hardware chain’s collapse.
Lake Macquarie council had sold the land to a Masters’ holding company in 2016 for $20.3 million.
That money is being used to fund a variety of community projects in the area.
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“This is land that has long been earmarked for development,” Cr Fraser said on Monday.
“It’s wonderful to see the Spotlight Group back the potential of Lake Macquarie and investing in a project that will generate local jobs for locals families.”
Spotlight Group’s Zac Fried said the centre would create more than 600 full-time jobs once open and 825 full-time equivalent jobs during construction.
New traffic lights will be installed on the Pacific Highway 150 metres south of the Groves Road intersection to access the centre.
A service station, fast-food outlet and Spotlight are among the businesses part of stages two and three.
Development applications for both stages are with Lake Macquarie council but are expected to be processed by the end of the year.
“A development of this size has the potential to significantly boost employment in surrounding suburbs,” Cr Fraser said.
“It will further activate the area and, by establishing itself as a retail destination, provide flow-on benefits to other businesses.”
Cr Fraser said Bunnings would relocate to the site from Belmont, and Spotlight and Anaconda would shift from Newcastle.
Construction of stage one is expected to take about 14 months.