Stockland will open the first section of its $412 million redevelopment and expansion of Stockland Green Hills mall, in East Maitland, NSW, on Thursday, which is the biggest revamp of a centre undertaken by the landlord.
It is part of Stockland’s ongoing multimillion-dollar development pipeline to upgrade older centres and make them the new town centre of the respective catchment area.
Upon completion in mid-2018, the centre will more than double in size to around 74,000 square metres and will feature the first new format David Jones department store in the Hunter, a new 900-seat Hoyts cinema and around 225 tenancies with a new dining and entertainment precinct that Stockland says “will be the biggest and best in the region”.
The new northern mall consists of 14 retailers, most of which are not as reliant on trade from the internet, including Cruise Travel, L’Amore Nails and Toto Sushi, which are new to the centre, with Blooms The Chemist opening its second store.
Ten other retailers will make their return or relocation to brand-new premises, including The Reject Shop, Best&Less and MyHouse.
The chief executive of Commercial Property at Stockland, John Schroder, said once completed, Stockland Green Hills will be “a leisure and entertainment destination that will soon be the pride of the Hunter”.
Mr Schroder said retail landlords must “curate” shopping centres to the local area and be “community focused”.
According to industry expert and Shopping Centre News’ (SCN’) publisher, Michael Lloyd, “Australian shopping centres are the most sophisticated in the world and the shopping centre industry leads the world in the development, management and marketing of its product”.
“The Green Hills trade area covers Maitland, Cessnock, Singleton and Tamworth and we have to provide, not just high quality traditional tenants, but medical services, beauty salons, new and diverse food courts and state-of-the-art entertainment. Malls must be relevant for all customers in order to survive and flourish,” Mr Schroder said.
The CEO of Stockland, Mark Steinert said the group identified Stockland Green Hills as a highly accretive redevelopment opportunity.
“It’s already one of the most productive centres in Australia and this expansion will enable us to capture a portion of the estimated $867 million of escape expenditure that leaves the primary trade area every year,” Mr Steinert said.
“The redevelopment is expected to achieve an incremental internal rate of return (IRR) of more than 12 per cent in the 10 years post-completion and an incremental, stabilised funds from operations (FFO) yield of just over 7 per cent.”
As part of the first stage opening on Thursday, Stockland will also open 300 new car parking spaces with park assist technology that illuminates available spaces and is on track to generate more than 2285 jobs; 1350 jobs during construction, 1250 direct, new, full-time jobs in retail, customer service and hospitality and an estimated 1200 indirect jobs for local suppliers and service providers within the regional economy.
“In addition to delivering a much-improved shopping experience for our customers, we’re proud to say that our $412 million investment is creating thousands of new jobs for the local region and creating an important multiplier effect on the regional economy. We hope customers will continue to embrace the new centre as the heart of their local community and make it their own,” Mr Schroder said.
“There’s an incredible buzz around the centre, and we can’t wait to deliver the next stage later this year delivering more exciting new retailers, more services, better entertainment and dining options, and easier access to the centre in the months ahead. We sincerely thank the community for their patience as we undertake these crucial works to fulfil our vision for a bigger and better Stockland Green Hills.”