Sea change for coastal shoppers
The extension will see the shopping centre more than double in size to 35,000sqm, with 70 extra specialty shops to be added to its 40 existing stores.
Phase one of construction, which began in May, will be completed mid-next year, with the bulk of the centre’s new tenants and the region’s first ever Kmart to open in this period.
Phase two will see the completion of several smaller specialty shops, most still to be confirmed, which will open their doors by the end of 2014.
Once completed, there will be about 600 full time or part time new retail service employees at the centre, with the total number of staff set to be more than 1100.
Current tenants Target and independent supermarket, IGA, will be joined by a 6000sqm full line Kmart and 4000sqm Coles, both which are set to anchor the new centre.
“One of the challenges in that region is that the current retail offering is fairly spread out,” said Stephen Bull, GM development and design, Stockland.
“This will really create a retail hub in the whole Fraser Coast region.” “It’s likely there will be retailers in the centre that it will be their first time in the City of Hervey Bay. We had that experience before in Townsville and Rockhampton.”
The centre’s existing footprint is expected to undergo a refresh throughout construction, said Bull, “so it still feels like one centre”.
A relaxed centre for a sunny town
Bull said the design of the new complex is simple, mirroring the region’s beachside lifestyle.
“It’s really targeted at being relevant for that Hervey Bay and Fraser Coast lifestyle, so it’s fairly relaxed.”
“We spend a lot of time trying to get to know the local communities that these centres exist in and try to deliver what’s right for that community.”
“What you deliver in Hervey Bay is different to what you deliver in Townsville, and that can be from both a design point of view and retail point of view.
“The design tries to take a lot of that into play and not be overly complicated, but still deliver to the community a real retail hub.” This means updating the centre’s food offering, with a 500-seat food court, including indoor and alfresco dining, part of the project’s first phase of redevelopments.
“One of the main things we wanted to do with the centre was to create a meeting place for the local community,” said Bull.
The centre’s family facilities are being upgraded, with a new 60sqm parents’ room set to feature televisions, a play area, seating space, and bottle warmers.
Current transport facilities surrounding the centre, which is located right near the town’s major coach terminals, are being improved, with awnings and seat arrangements set for a upgrade.
“We’ll look at potential coffee shops and those types of shops to make it more comfortable for those Hervey Bay, QLD people,” adds Bull.
This transport refresh will be complemented by an upgrade of the centre’s car park, which will double in size to between 1700 to 1800 spaces by completion.
New horizons for coastal shoppers
As Stockland looks to complete its Hervey Bay renovation, it has also lodged a second development application outside the scope of the redevelopment project.
If successful, the centre will include an additional supermarket, cinema complex, restaurants, and more specialty stores, taking the centre to more than 50,000sqm.
The Fraser Coast isn’t the only coastal region receiving investment. Just this May, Stockland opened its newly revamped Shellharbour shopping centre in the Illawarra region.
Shellharbour launches entertainment
The $330 million redevelopment saw the area’s first Myer department store, as well as a Woolworths supermarkets, with existing tenants Coles, Target, and Kmart refurbished.
The 75,000sqm mall now boasts around 220 specialty shops, including Country Road, Peter Alexander, Swarovski, and electronics chain, JB Hi-Fi.
Retailers expected to open in the coming months include Next Byte, General Pants Co., Bonds, Adairs, and Portmans.
“It’s the only true regional shopping centre between Canberra and Miranda, apart from in the Wollongong CBD,” said Bull.
“I think one of the best things about Shellharbour is that the new part of the mall is quite open. It’s a very wide and open mall, so you get a sense of a lot of space, which is important.
This story originally appeared in Inside Retail Magazine. The August/September issue, featuring exclusive coverage of the 2013 Westfield World Retail Study Tour is available now. For more information, click here.