Chadstone set to expand again

The stunning roof design at Chadstone, featuring 2700 pieces of glass and 600 lights. Picture: Jackie Chan
The stunning roof design at Chadstone, featuring 2700 pieces of glass and 600 lights. Picture: Jackie Chan

Billionaire John Gandel and co-owners of the listed Vicinity Centres are readying to again expand Melbourne’s famed Chadstone shopping centre as confidence at the luxury end of the market lifts.

The prospect of a spending bump as certainty returns in the wake of the re-election of the Morrison government has bolstered the fortunes of the top-end retailers driving the fortunes of the $6 billion-plus property, helping to spur plans for more events such as Louis Vuitton’s Time Capsule exhibit.

Luxury-focused shopping centres are pulling ahead of the pack as they are turned into destinations for lifestyle shoppers with bespoke retail and restaurant precincts, according to Vicinity Centres.

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“We don’t measure Chadstone relative to other shopping centres,” Vicinity Centres chief development officer Carolyn Viney says. “We think Chadstone has evolved beyond that.”

The Melbourne centre’s most recent major development has just been recognised globally for design and development excellence, receiving in Las Vegas the International Council of Shopping Centres’ top award for vision, innovation, value and achievement.

Chadstone is part of Vicinity Centres’ $22 billion portfolio.

“I’m personally delighted that Chadstone has been internationally recognised. This development was significant in the history of the centre, it’s cemented Chadstone’s place on the world stage,” Gandel says.

That $660 million redevelopment, completed in 2017, included an expanded luxury precinct and a unique 7000sqm gridshell roof that has 2700 individual glass panels creating a distinctive light-filled shopping and dining experience.

Viney says the company is working to evolve the Melbourne complex in its latest iteration as a fashion capital.

She says the award is a “testament” to Gandel’s vision as he has taken Chadstone on an “incredible journey to one of the world’s top shopping, dining, entertainment and lifestyle destinations”.

Chadstone Hotel Sofitel MGalllery

The new Chadstone hotel will open in late 2019. Picture: Leader.

The Melbourne complex generates $2 billion in annual sales, ranking Chadstone as the number four shopping centre in the world, by sales, with 24 million people visiting each year.

“We know that we need to continue to evolve to meet (customers’) ever-changing needs and expectations, and we’re excited about the future,” she says.

Chadstone has pushed into hospitality, with the planned opening of Hotel Chadstone Melbourne, MGallery by Sofitel, a 250-room hotel, in November.

Chadstone has already been redeveloped almost 50 times with Viney saying the centre now sports valet parking and an airport-style visitor lounge.

The co-owners are deep into masterplanning the project’s next stage that Viney says will take it from being a shopping centre to a destination in its own right.

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