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NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA-Bovis Lend Lease was awarded a contract to undertake a A$344-million ($329.1 million) expansion and renovation of Charlestown Square. The firm is expanding the GPT Group-owned asset by just over 441,000 sf, bringing it to 958,000 sf.

Work began on the property in January, and the firms expect to complete the expansion by the end of 2010. Charlestown, currently at three levels, is anchored by a Big W grocery store and Myer and Target department stores.

Besides adding to the project’s retail offerings, GPT and Lend Lease will construct a lawn-bowling facility, football fields, a youth center and a childcare venue.

Sydney-based GPT owns 18 shopping centers in Australia and manages another 13. It also owns 19 office assets, resort holdings throughout the country and about 25 senior-housing facilities in the US around New England.

Bovis Lend Lease is the design and project-management arm of the Lend Lease Corp., which is based in Millers Point, New South Wales. Other Australian retail projects Bovis is undertaking include the renovation of the A$470-million Top Ryde shopping center in Sydney and the expansion of the A$180-million Robina Town Centre on the Gold Coast.

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