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Editions

The big changes continue at Harbour Town

01 Feb 2017

The big changes continue at Harbour Town Image

Locals will notice more big changes at Harbour Town this year as the shopping centre moves into the next stages of its redevelopment.

The upgrades and improvements are complete, but there is plenty more happening including: the imminent start of construction on the Hoyts cinemas, more “full price” brands, more destination entertainment providers and more cultural aspects to the centre.

Over coming years the centre itself is to be rebranded and a fresh food precinct, including a full-line supermarket, is planned for the lower floors of the multi-storey carpark.

Centre owners Ashe Morgan last year completed a masterplan and are poised to invest “significant capital” to continue the revival of the centre.

Principal Alton Abrahams said Ashe Morgan envisaged the centre as a new urban village for Melbourne.

“We have surrounded ourselves by experts in their field from architecture and master-planning, to project management and retail, place-making, events and research and have been very well supported by our precinct partners, Places Victoria and City of Melbourne to assist us in achieving the new vision for Waterfront City,” Mr Abrahams said.

“We are thrilled to achieve permits for Docklands Drive entrances, Giraffe Early Learning Centre, the cinema and entertainment complex as well as the fresh food complex which have been the result of team and stakeholder efforts.”

The new management sees the centre as a series of precincts:

  • Entertainment precinct with state-of-the-art Hoyts cinema and first to Australia immersive trick art gallery, Artvo;
  • Lifestyle precinct with a full-line gym and other health and wellbeing retailers;
  • Fresh food precinct incorporating a full line supermarket and a variety of other fresh food providores;
  • Fashion precincts including, national and international fashion brands, youth and lifestyle fashion, children’s fashion;
  • Restaurant precinct integrating an innovative and diverse range of cuisines, indoor-outdoor activation and signature food and beverage offerings;
  • Medical and services precinct; and
  • Arts and social enterprise precinct.

Mr Abraham said: “We are excited to introduce new brands to the centre and have been motivated by significant ongoing interest in our plans. We look forward to making these brand announcements as we progress towards the opening of the new centre later this year.”

“Identifying community requirements has been at the core of our work in developing a tenancy mix that will support not only local needs and desires as well as drawing an audience to the precinct for a unique, full-day experience on the fringe of the CBD.”

While the centre is transforming itself to full-price brands and changing its reputation, it is working with Renew Australia to bring creative enterprises to Harbour Town.

Renew is no stranger to Docklands. It previously worked with Places Victoria and the City of Melbourne on the “Docklands Spaces” project.

Renew Australia business services manager, Ainsley Milton, said Renew would assist centre management to place creative enterprises and projects into the vacant spaces on Level 1.

These enterprises will join Blender Studios, which relocated from the CBD earlier this year. See our story on Page 11.

Guide Dogs Victoria social enterprise Dialogue in the Dark is also coming to Level 1 in mid-2017. It is an experience in total darkness through which, led by blind guides, one learns to interact and communicate by relying on other senses.

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