CFS Proposes $20m Redevelopment of Forest Hill Chase Shopping Centre

CFS Retail Property Trust, the CFS-managed fund which owns Forest Hill Chase, has lodged an application with Whitehorse City Council to extend the existing shopping centre by about 4,070 square metres.

The works will add new specialty retailers, an Aldi supermarket and a new bus interchange to Mahoneys Road, a council spokeswoman told BusinessDay.

The renovation would extend the centre’s total size 6.5 per cent to almost 67,000 square metres.

Forest Hill Chase is already bigger than nearby shopping centres Centro The Glen, Centro Box Hill and Centro Whitehorse. Unlike these centres however, Forest Hill Chase is not flanked by a train station.

Whitehorse City Council expects to make a decision about the Forest Hill Chase application by late 2009. If approved, construction of a new wing, north of the existing fresh food market, could start as early as next year, sources speculate.

A CFS spokeswoman said it is obtaining a permit for the shopping centre while it waits for an upturn in the economic environment.

Forest Hill Chase is currently leased to 203 retail tenants, including discount retailers Big W, Target, Hoyts any Myer, which between them lease a third of the shopping centre’s retail floor space.

The value of the property took a hit last year, falling 4.8 per cent to $276 million in the last quarter.

Private investor Maurie Alter’s Pacific Shopping Centre Group sold Forest Hill Chase to a CFS fund in late 2004 for $214.5 million.

The 45-year old centre sits on 8.5 hectares at 270 Canterbury Road, on the cusp of Blackburn. Almost half the centre’s specialty stores have signed retail leases until 2013. The centre has 3,088 car parks.

CFS is also undertaking a major renovation of its Myer Bourke Street building, which upon completion will include a 10-metre glass dome “cultural centre” – home to fine dining, fashion parades and other events. CFS owns the Myer property with GIC Real Estate and the Myer Family.

Its Chadstone Shopping Centre is also being refurbished, with an international luxury store arm under construction for land between David Jones and Target. CFS owns Chadstone Shopping Centre with the Gandel Group.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of