Firm: Herbert Smith Freehills (QIC Ltd)
Deal: QIC Ltd (QIC) has completed the first phase of a major retail redevelopment project in Toowoomba.
Value: $500 million
Area: Infrastructure, real estate
Key players: The HSF team advising QIC was led by partner Kerry Heilbronn. Margaret Mertens, Nicole Campbell and Matthew Soden-Taylor assisted with the deal.
Deal significance: QIC Ltd has finished the first phase of its contract to redevelop Toowoomba’s Grand Central Shopping Centre in Queensland. The $500 million retail project is expected to be complete by mid 2017.
The new Grand Central Shopping Centre will be twice the size of the original complex, with the addition of 180 speciality retailers. Approximately 1,000 more retail and hospitality workers will be employed by the new shops and approximately 1,500 construction jobs have been generated by the development works.
A statement released by HSF said that it is hoped the new shopping complex will offer a revitalised and “contemporary destination for the Toowoomba community”.
“The development demanded that the HSF team create new and innovative structures around land ownership and usage,” the firm said.
“The result was a [number] of ‘firsts’, including being the first occasion on which freehold title has been granted above road in Queensland. A large volume of separate and complex agreements were reached with various stakeholders and landholders, among them the Toowoomba Regional Council, Ergon Ltd, Queensland Rail and state government.”
A retail bridge has been built to link the new centre with Toowoomba’s local retail area. The bridge spans two roads and local government reserve land, without interrupting the operation of the existing road and rail infrastructure.
According to HSF lead partner Kerry Heilbronn, the firm has worked with QIC for nearly a decade to realise the vision for the shopping precinct.
“This project is at the cutting edge for retail centres, and demanded extraordinary innovation and persistence,” Mr Heilbronn said.
“The HSF team is delighted to be involved with QIC in making it a reality.”