BURWOOD WESTFIELD SHOPPINGTOWN
Burwood Road and Wilga Street
Municipality of Burwood, New South Wales


The tenth retail-related project undertaken by Australia's Westfield Development Corporation was built on a 6.4 acre plot, located 5.4 miles west of Sydney's Central Business District. The mall site was within the Municipality of Burwood local government area, in the town centre of the Burwood suburb. 

Construction commenced on BURWOOD WESTFIELD SHOPPINGTOWN in September 1965. New South Wales Premier Bob Askin officiated at the official dedication, which was held October 9, 1966. The centre, designed by Brian Woolstone and B. E. Sabolch, was Westfield's first large-scale merchandising complex and the first to be branded as a "Shoppingtown".

The mall was built on a sloping lot, which facilitated its unique "incline mall" design. 2 levels, Ground and Gallery, were situated on a gently ascending grade and connected via a system of ramps and set of escalators. Major stores on the east end of the shopping precinct had 1 storey, with those on the west end having 2. Stairways and elevators also provided access to a 2-level covered car park and rooftop deck. 

The 8 million dollar BURWOOD WESTFIELD SHOPPINGTOWN encompassed 327,000 lettable square feet and contained 63 shops and services. There were 2 anchor stores; a 2-level (107,000 square foot), Sydney-based Farmer's and a 2-level Winns.

Mini-major stores were Mark Foy's, a Coles variety store and Coles New World supermarket. A branch of Best & Less apparel held its grand opening in the spring of 1967. 

A listing of smaller shops and services would include Angus & Coote's Jewelers, White's Shoes, Glovers Chemist (a pharmacy), Frisco Furniture, The Gallery Bistro, Singer Sewing Centre, Paige Fashions, Approved Health Foods, The Barrow Fruiterer and City Fashions.

The interior decor of the BURWOOD SHOPPINGTOWN was a departure from designs used for the standard 1960s shopping centre. Modern-style steel and glass storefronts typical of the era were eschewed. Storefronts reflected a variety of classic styles, such as London Regency Period, English Tudor, Nautical, 16th Century Spanish and Palladian.

Competing commercial centres in the vicinity of the shopping precinct included ROSELANDS CENTRE (1965) {4.7 miles south} and BANKSTOWN SQUARE (1966) {4.8 miles southwest}.

Renovations were done to the BURWOOD facility in 1972. In 1976, a second remodeling was completed. In July of the same year, the Farmer's anchor store was rebannered as a Myer (Farmer's having been a subsidiary of the Myer Emporium since 1960). On April 18, 1983, the Myer BURWOOD store was rebranded as a Grace Brothers.

By the late 1990s, the shopping centre was seen as obsolete. Westfield decided to shutter, demolish and replace it. This would be the first time that a Westfield property would be completely razed and rebuilt from the ground up. The 300 million dollar reconstruction project got underway in January 1999.

On August 17, 2000, the new WESTFIELD SHOPPINGTOWN BURWOOD made its debut. The complex encompassed 684,700 lettable square feet and housed over 230 shops and services.

There were 3 levels of retail; Ground, 1 and 2. Above these was a 3 level car park. The mall proper featured the 13-bay Food On the Park Food Court (with an outdoor dining terrace),"The Street", an entertainment and lifestyle precinct (the first such attraction in Greater Sydney), and Greater Union Cinemas Burwood 12.

The primary anchor of the new WESTFIELD SHOPPINGTOWN BURWOOD was a 3-level (160,300 square foot) Grace Brothers. This store was rebannered, as a Myer, in February 2004. It was shuttered March 24, 2007 and re-opened, as a Sydney-based David Jones, on May 5, 2007. 

Mini-majors in the shopping hub were (and are) a 1-level (63,800 square foot) Target, 1-level (65,800 square foot) Kmart, 1-level (42,100 square foot) Coles and 1-level (39,000 square foot) Woolworths.

The Westfield conglomerate was restructured, as the Westfield Group, in July 2004. In June 2014, the company separated into 2 entities. The Scentre Group would own and manage shopping precincts in Australia and New Zealand. The Westfield Corporation would oversee operations in the United States, United Kingdom and Europe. 

Sources:

The Sydney Morning Herald 
www.westfield.com (The Westfield Group)
Westfield Trust Annual Report 2000
http://westfield.com.au/burwood 
http://fabsydneyflashbacks.blogspot.com
http://www.sydneyarchitecture.com
www.scentregroup.com
"Scentre Group Property Compendium" / December 2015
"Westfield Burwood" article on Wikipedia



FAIR USE OF BURWOOD WESTFIELD SHOPPINGTOWN IMAGES:

The images from The Sydney Morning Herald illustrate a key moment in the mall's history that is described in the article. The images are not replaceable with free-use or public-domain images. The images do not limit the copyright owners' rights to distribute the images in any way. The images are being used for non-profit, informational purposes and their use is not believed to detract from the original images in any way.