TRANSFORMATION IN THE HEART OF ADELAIDE
Rundle Mall is South Australia’s premier shopping and tourist precinct, attracting more than 24 million visitors every year. It is currently being redeveloped into a precinct that could transform the heart of Adelaide. Business First speaks with Weinert G
Since its official opening as Australia’s first pedestrian mall more than 40 years ago, it has seen extraordinary transformation and the latest project to make its mark on the precinct is the major redevelopment of Rundle Mall Plaza.
The four lower levels of the prominent nine-storey building – originally constructed as a standalone David Jones department store in the 1960s – are being transformed as part of a multimillion dollar redevelopment by owners the Weinert Group.
The large-scale project spanning 12,000sqm will see the creation of a lower ground tech hub, the ground floor dedicated to retail and fashion, an exciting new dining precinct on level one and a health and wellbeing precinct planned for level two.
Weinert Group Property Manager Evan Brumby says the redeveloped Rundle Mall Plaza would offer the highest quality retail, dining and wellness experience in Rundle Mall when it re-opens later this year.
“The Plaza’s new dining precinct is one of the most exciting aspects about the redevelopment and it will be a truly unique experience for Adelaide,” Brumby says.
“When you visit cities like Melbourne and Sydney, they have upper floor dining with views and natural light, where lots of shoppers, workers and tourists go to eat and we are bringing that experience to Adelaide.”
A substantial part of the floor of level two will be demolished to create a double-height dining precinct with large glass windows overlooking Rundle Mall.
A new multi-storey void at the main entrance will be another standout architectural feature and host the relocated Progress Statue, a welded copper sculpture created by Lyndon Dadswell in 1959.
“We have also taken great care selecting high quality finishes, working closely with our architects Hames Sharley. The design incorporates a lot of brass, wood and stone and moves away from the cold stainless steel, whilst also introducing all the modern comforts to go with a new development.”
In a major coup for Rundle Mall Plaza, Swedish fashion giant H&M has chosen the site as the location of its first South Australian store.
“We’re very proud to have secured H&M as our major tenant. The store is going to be a significant drawcard not only for Rundle Mall in particular, but Adelaide in general,” Brumby says.
“The interest shown by international retailers to establish a presence in Rundle Mall demonstrates confidence in the State’s retail sector, which is continuing to gain strength.”
In the 12 months to March, South Australia recorded a 3.3 per cent rise in retail turnover, the best result in the country.
Rundle Mall Plaza’s large-scale redevelopment also presents
numerous leasing opportunities across all four floors for potential tenants in the fashion, food and beverage, and health and wellness spaces. New tenants will join the likes of Swarovski, Sportsgirl and JB Hi-Fi, which are continuing to trade throughout the redevelopment works.
CBRE Leasing Agent Julie Thomas says the uniqueness of the Plaza’s dining precinct was a major drawcard for potential tenants.
“A double height glass atrium will be the centrepiece of a sophisticated art deco styled precinct, offering sunlight, atmosphere and views over Rundle Mall,” Ms Thomas said.
“The dining precinct will create an enjoyable shopping and business lunch experience, concentrating on higher quality food and beverage operators.
“So far there has been a lot of interest from prospective tenants and we’re in discussions with several prominent operators.”
For the health and wellbeing precinct, Rundle Mall Plaza is hoping to attract medical practitioners and allied health professionals as well as wellbeing services such as a day spa, gym or pilates and yoga studio.
“Whether you shop, work or live in the City of Adelaide, Rundle Mall Plaza will seek to provide the ease and comfort of visiting one central spot for all your needs,” Brumby says.
“Customers are now looking for more than just retail. They are looking for a place to relax, a place to experience, and we intend to provide just that.”
“With the new tramline down North Terrace, the upgrade to Gawler Place, numerous commercial and accommodation buildings under construction in the CBD and the Rundle Mall Plaza redevelopment, it is an exciting period for Adelaide.”
The Weinert Group, which converted the building into Rundle Mall Plaza in the early 2000s, has appointed the original builder, Hansen Yuncken, as the Principal Contractor for the redevelopment works.
The redevelopment is expected to be complete in late 2018.