Shellharbour City Council has selected Savills Project Management to manage the design and construction phases of the contentious $57 million Shellharbour City Hub.
On Tuesday night councillors voted 4-3 to award the tender to Savills for $648,848 (excluding GST).
The budget allocated for project management was $1.4 million.
Sixteen tender prices were received ranging from $470,000 to $2.72 million.
The project comprises a new council administration building and chambers, a new city library, museum and auditorium for completion in December 2016.
Questions were raised by some councillors over whether the excess money allocated for project management could be returned to general revenue, used to reduce the loan component of the project or allow the council to revisit the sale of assets to fund the project.
However the council's general manager, Michael Willis, said "this is a project that has barely started".
"This is quite a significant saving for this particular tender but there is no guarantee we will see similar results in the future," he said.
"Things come under, things go over and as the project unfolds there will be ups and downs, there always are."
Deputy Mayor Paul Rankin foreshadowed a motion that all expenditure and work on the City Hub cease and a report be put to council on the cost of an alternative plan, whether it be a museum or city library or a different site.
However councillors voted 4-3 to endorse the staff recommendation and appoint Savills as project manager.
Cr Helen Stewart said the key moment for the hub project would be in August 2014 when the construction contract was awarded.