Chadstone shopping centre set for $685 million expansion and renovation

Toorak businessman John Gandel and Vicinity Centres are set to expand and renovate their enormous Chadstone – the Fashion Capital retail complex, again.

The $685 million proposal includes five key components.

A nine-storey office estimated to be worth $130 million upon completion is one of them (artist’s impression, top).

Earmarked for a site off Middle Road, it will contain 20,000 square metres of A-grade area.

A dining space will be built atop a multi-level car park.

About 1400 car park bays will be added in two new zones: Car Park D and C (the latter sometimes called the Coles car park) at Middle Road, is the first.

The second, at the corner of Princes Highway and Chadstone Road, on the opposite side of the complex, affects Car Park A (or the David Jones car park).

The multi-level car park works are valued at $97 million.

At present, the centre has 10,089 spaces.

New car parking will be created at each end of the complex, in the areas marked in this image as A, C and D.

The landlords don’t plan on adding lettable retail space to the existing 215,574 sqm mixed use complex – which contains the biggest shopping centre by area in Australia (and for a short period until 2009, in the Southern Hemisphere).

But they will expand Chadstone Shopping Centre’s dining terrace and leisure precinct by 4000 sqm, at a cost of $53 million.

A renovation of the fresh food precinct, with a focus on wellness, is the fourth component.

Specifically, this includes:

  • Refurbishing 3800 sqm of retail area;
  • Updating 1400 sqm of café and restaurant space;
  • Creating 5300 sqm of space specific for health/hospital services;
  • Adding a 2900 sqm childcare centre, 1000 sqm education precinct and 2400 sqm co-working office.

The owners are pricing these works at $340 million – which seems high (and is more than 2.5 times the value of the 20,000 sqm office).

Existing area around a food hall will be renovated as part of the $685 million expansion works.

The fifth investment – worth $37 million – will result in the renovation of 2950 sqm of shopping space within the centre’s luxury division.

First mooted in 2017, the co-owners have this year detailed this expansion plan on the complex’s website.

This week, they lodged a development application with the City of Stonnington – and priced each of the components.

If approved, the landlords said, construction could begin in 2021 and should take four years.

Chadstone’s recent history

Mr Gandel in 2017 relocated the headquarters of his private business from an office atop of the Chadstone centre’s David Jones store.

Shortly after, we reported that serviced office operator Waterman Group would take over Gandel Group’s space after a renovation (this deal was interesting in that the landlords opted against what would have been a straightforward renovation to expand Chadstone’s retail area).

In 2011, Vicinity and Mr Gandel announced a $500 million development at Chadstone which included retail area, new offices, including one rising 11-storeys, and a 12-level hotel – the latter which opened last month.

JB Hi Fi set up its office headquarters at Tower 2 (but earlier this year relocated to Southbank, following a merger with rival The Good Guys).

In 2008, the $140 million Chadstone Place retail wing was added.

The Malvern East complex – prior to the 1990s on land gazetted as Chadstone – is an activity centre in recent government planning documents.

Like many major shopping centres, it is the base for a sophisticated bus network connecting the middle and outer suburbs.

Chadstone – the Fashion Capital, as it is officially known, offers non-retail amenity to the community, too, including healthcare and childcare service providers.

Longer term, it is speculated new apartment towers will rise on the site, in keeping with a trend of shopping centres becoming mixed-used communities.

A car park (front) and the nine-level office (centre), proposed for the easternmost edge of the Chadstone site. The extension will also include health/hospital space and an education precinct.

Landlord launches 10-week public consultation period

Chadstone director, Fiona Mackenzie, said that as part of the planning process, a 10-week consultation, with informal sessions, will be held in December, January and February.

“Our customers and community have told us they want more dining and entertainment at Chadstone so our plans include an extended dining precinct and additional fresh food to match their lifestyle needs,” Ms Mackenzie said of the proposal.

“We’re also working to improve accessibility with more than 1,400 additional car spaces – making Chadstone’s the largest, free car park in Australia.

“Transport remains a critical consideration for our customers, retailers and the broader Chadstone workforce and we think these projects, coupled with government investment in exploring the feasibility of light rail, will enhance the liveability and economic value of our region,” Ms Mackenzie added.

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Marc Pallisco

A freelance property analyst and journalist, Marc is a co-founder of realestatesource.com.au.

Marc Pallisco
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