It’s the size of 10 football fields, with more high-end handbags than you can poke a stick at. And after 2 years of the largest cranes, bulldozers and hammers, the first stage of the $660 million revamp of Melbourne’s Chadstone Shopping center is nearing conclusion. Currently the Southern Hemisphere’s biggest retail capital, “Chaddy”, as it is passionately called by residents, seals the city’s reputation as a shopping destination, especially for women’s clothes and women’s shoes.
With 100 brand-new shops set to open, it anticipated to draw a lot more attention with exactly what its operators refer to as “the very best high-end precinct in Australia”. Valentino, Celine and Loewe are amongst 25 high-end brand names that will open their doors, bring in fashionistas from around the globe, the centre is offering the best women’s shoes Australia has to offer. Travelers are bussed in every hour from Federation Square to the 21ha centre, 16km southeast of the CBD, and an on-site hotel is on the cards to accommodate tourists.
Vicinity Centre’s president Angus McNaughton stated that the restorations would improve the centre’s global profile even more. “Chadstone is already one of the top centres in the globe,” McNaughton stated. “I think it’s going to firmly cement its position as one of the best assets in the world.”
Asked how it compared to the megamalls of Asia, Vicinity Centre’s president Angus McNaughton responded: “I would say better.”
He stated the centre’s remarkable renovation would make it simpler for buyers to find their way around, with an entirely brand-new design.
“There were some parts that were kind of complex to navigate your way around, so we’ve basically demolished those parts of the centre and we’re rebuilding them better,” he stated.
The crowning gem of the revamped centre is its 7000 square metre glass domed roofing, developed using 3D modelling, in replacement of the previously modern glue laminated timber frames. Offering the centre a light and airy feel, 2700 distinctively proportioned pieces of glass comprise the 30m high gridshell roofing system, pieced together by hand and lifted into place with a bubble crane and frannas. “This world-class architecture reflects the essence of leading flagship retail and iconic locations from around the globe, and perfectly showcases the premium customer experience on offer at Chadstone,” Mr McNaughton stated. “We wanted a really nice, light-filled place, people want to feel like they’re sort of indoor-outdoors”
Amongst the drawcards of Chadstone’s brand-new retail offerings are a Lego Discovery Centre, set to open next year, together with a premium Hoyts movie theater complex and Tesla automobile dealer. “The Lego Discovery Centre will be a real game changer for Chadstone,” Mr McNaughton stated. “It’s the first in the Southern Hemisphere, and we’re going to get strong demand from customers from around Australia to come and visit us, particularly anyone who has school aged children — it’s going to be a must do.”
The size of 3 cottages, it will be billed as “a home entertainment experience”, with a movie theater, retailer, play area and Lego museum. Sephora, H&M, Uniqlo flagship shops will take pride of place, with The Kooples, Reiss and Michael Kors also residing there.
Chadstone’s dining offering is also being revamped, with 7 brand-new restaurants and a brand-new 1300-seat premium food court. Celeb Chef Neil Perry’s The Hamburger Job will open on the dining balcony, in addition to Mexican dining establishment Fonda, Woodstock Pizzicheria and Marae Izakaya.
An additional 800 automobile parking spaces have been included, with a brand-new bus interchange and taxi rank specifically constructed with engineered structural timber beams to accommodate the additional patronage at the centre, which currently welcome 20 million domestic and worldwide visitors each year.
Chadstone Shopping center is owned by Gandel Group and Vicinity Centres, with a 50 percent stake managed by Melbourne billionaire John Gandel. Its success has increased Mr Gandel’s net worth to a reported $5.4 billion, putting him 5th in the most recent BRW Rich List.