A vision for an old Kensington woolstore

An artist’s impression of the Younghusband woolstore’s new retail and dining precinct.
An artist’s impression of the Younghusband woolstore’s new retail and dining precinct.

Repurposed factories and buildings from a bygone era continue to be all the rage, but it’s a novel approach to retail that could set this old Kensington woolstore apart.

The woolstore, among a collection of Melbourne buildings known as the Younghusband precinct, is currently being reimagined as an office, retail and dining destination.

The stunning historic buildings, which date back to 1906, form stage one of the precinct’s renewal project, which will be completed over the next few years.

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Spanning four levels and 17,182sqm while retaining its original facade, the woolstore is to be the centrepiece of the development.

Younghusband woolstore Kensington

The woolstore site dates back to 1906.

But the agents tasked with filling the new retail and hospitality spaces say it won’t simply be a matter of welcoming any cafe operator or clothing store that wants to lease a shop.

In a nod to the property’s industrial past, Fitzroy’s leasing director Rick Berry says they’re putting a premium on businesses that create their own goods on-site.

“We’re looking for vertically integrated tenants that will showcase the creation chain of their goods, as well as selling or serving the final product on-site,” Berry says.

“For instance, a fashion boutique would be able to use the warehouse and production space on the ground floor for creating their items.”

Retail, dining and coworking spaces will form a part of stage one of the woolstore rejuvenation.

“For hospitality operators, we would be looking for a café that will have their roastery on site, and a microbrewery, or gin bar with its own distillery.”

Retail spaces at the woolstore range from 29sqm to 360sqm, while food and beverage options span 24sqm to 770sqm.

Stage one of the project will also include co-working and shared logistics spaces.