CHADSTONE CENTRE
Dandernong Road / Princes Highway and Chadstone Road
City of Malvern (City of Stonnington), Victoria


The first large-scale shopping precinct in The Land Down Under was developed on a 33 acre plot, located 9 miles southeast of Melbourne's Central Business District. 

CHADSTONE CENTRE [pronounced "chad-stun"] was technically the second mall-type shopping precinct in Greater Melbourne. A small, community-class complex, known as BELL STREET MALL, had opened in the City of Banyule, a northeastern suburb, in 1956.  

The land on which CHADSTONE was built was originally occupied by the Convent of the Good Shepherd, which had been dedicated in December 1883. Melbourne's Myer Emporium department stores acquired portions of the property in 1958, 1963 and 1984, with the final purchase being made in 1999.   

The CHADSTONE mall was developed by the Myer Emporium and designed by a joint effort of Los Angeles-based Welton Becket & Associates and Tompkins & Shaw, of Melbourne. The complex was modeled after San Francisco's STONESTOWN CENTER (1952), which had also been envisaged by the Welton Becket firm.

Construction commenced on the 6 million dollar CHADSTONE facility in February 1959. It was dedicated, by Victoria Premier (Sir) Henry Bolte, on October 3, 1960. The open-air complex encompassed 355,200 lettable square feet. It consisted of an Upper Mall concourse, with a partial Lower Mall sales floor on its north end.

On the south end stood a 3-level (153,000 square foot) Myer department store. There were a total 73 tenant spaces. These contained stores such as Foy & Gibson, Buckley & Nunn, McEwans Hardware, Patersons Home Furnishings, a G.J. Coles & Coy variety store and S.E. Dickens supermarket (at the time, the largest grocery store in the nation).

The Upper Mall shopping concourse was flanked by a single block of stores at the centre of the complex. On the opposite side was a large, open Garden Plaza. This included an Indoor Garden pavilion and glass-enclosed kiosk which housed a studio for radio station 3UZ.

From its inception, CHADSTONE was a "one stop & shop" facility. Services were included, such as a public auditorium, medical and dental clinic, post office, veterinary clinic and Kiddieland child-minding centre. An American-style bowling alley was added in 1964. Known as Chadstone Bowl, it was the first subterranean bowling alley in Australia.

The first of many expansions at CHADSTONE was completed in March 1963, when a fourth floor was dedicated at the Myer anchor store. The structure now encompassed 200,000 square feet.

Commercial competition arrived with the completion of THE GLEN CENTRE {4.4 miles northeast}. This 32-shop centre first traded to the public in 1967. It was a small, community-class complex that would be substantially enlarged over the ensuing years.

Next came SOUTHLAND CENTRE {5 miles southwest}, in 1968. Also developed by the Myer Emporium, it did not become a retail rival of CHADSTONE until it was acquired by the Westfield conglomerate in 1994 and renamed WESTFIELD SOUTHLAND.

Lastly, there was KNOX CITY CENTRE {8.5 miles northeast}. Encompassing 83 stores in its original incarnation, this shopping precinct first traded to the public in 1977. 


The Myer Emporium sought to buy into Sydney's Grace Brothers department store chain; the dominant Australian merchandiser. In order to do this, it became necessary to sell the CHADSTONE property. In March 1983, Melbourne's John Gandel (the Gandel Group) became the centre's new proprietor. 

At the time of the change in ownership, the mall enveloped 430,500 lettable square feet. A 3-stage renovation soon got underway. Phase One consisted of the enclosure of the existing mall.

Phase Two involved the supermarket on the northeast end of the complex, which had been operating under the Coles New World banner since 1982. It was demolished and a new location built. A 2-level Northeast Wing was constructed, which contained the new Coles supermarket. This store was dedicated in October 1985. 

Phase Three involved building a 2-level structure on the original Dickens / Coles supermarket site. Known as the Entertainment Zone, it housed a 1-level (96,800 square foot) Target on its upper floor, which opened in late 1985. Hoyts Chadstone, a lower floor 8-plex, showed its first features December 13, 1986.

In April 1994, Sydney's Colonial First State Retail Properties Trust acquired a 50-percent interest in the shopping centre. It was soon being enlarged. A 1-level (77,500 square foot) Kmart was retrofitted into the Lower Mall, which first traded to the public July 10, 1995. The first of 6 car park structures was also built.  

America's RTKL Architects were engaged to design the next expansion. It would consist of a 2-level Loop Mall, constructed along the southeast side of the centre. Its glass-vaulted-roof mallways would converge on a glass-enclosed atrium. These modifications were completed in 1996. CHADSTONE now encompassed approximately 1,011,800 lettable square feet and housed 325 stores. 

In the spring of 1997, the Myer store, at the south end of the complex, was knocked down. It was replaced by a curving, 2-level wing of shops; this anchored by 2 newly-built department stores. A 3-level (242,100 square foot) Myer opened in November 1998. David Jones joined the retail roster, with a 3-level (163,000 square foot) store, in November 1999. 

In December of the same year, an expanded -17-screen- Hoyts multiplex was completed. CHADSTONE CENTRE now spanned approximately 1,364,700 lettable square feet and contained around 385 stores and services.

In February 2007, CHADSTONE embarked upon another major upgrade. Costing upwards of 100 million dollars, the Chadstone Place extension was an outward-facing collection of Main Street-style shops. The new wing included a 4-storey office tower, Woolworths supermarket and other "mini majors", such as a First Choice Liquors Superstore and Dick Smith Electronics. 

Woolworths and Aldi stores first traded to the public on October 29, 2008. The remainder of new stores were in operation by December of the same year. The mall now encompassed approximately 1,842,900 lettable square feet. It reclaimed the title of Australia's largest shopping centre, a distinction it held between October 1960 and October 1965.

Work had commenced on a West Mall renovation in March 2008. This project saw the west end of the existing mall gutted and replaced by a 2-level cache of luxury retailers, including Louis Vuitton, Prada, Tiffany & Company and Gucci. 

These stores began trading to the public in August 2009. With this latest spate of renovations, CHADSTONE CENTRE encompassed 2,045,100 lettable square feet. 

Yet another expansion of "Chaddy" was approved by the local governing body in November 2012. The mid-1980s-vintage Entertainment Zone (Target and Hoyts Chadstone) were demolished in June 2014. Construction commenced on a new 4-level Entertainment Zone in September. 

This 660 million dollar structure housed a new Target store, state-of-the-art (13-screen) Hoyts megaplex and 60 trendy retailers. These included Uniqlo, Sephora, Maje, Sandro and the nation's first Legoland Discovery Centre. Covering the area was Australia's first glass gridshell roof, which enclosed nearly 75,300 square feet.

The 1-level (77,500 square foot) Target welcomed its first shoppers on September 10, 2015. 2 food facilities debuted October 13, 2016. The Dining Terrace, featuring 7 full-service restaurants, included Burger Project By Neil Perry, Fonda Mexican and Woodstock Pizzicheria. Food Central, comprising 23 vendors, featured Sauced Pasta Bar, Royal Stacks and Soul Origin.

The new Hoyts Chadstone megaplex, encompassing 2-levels, showed its first features October 16, 2016. With its most recent renovation, the CHADSTONE mall covered a total of 68.4 acres, spanned approximately 2,260,400 lettable square feet and housed over 550 stores and services.

A final refurbishment phase added an 11-storey office tower and expanded parking deck, these built adjacent to the existing Myer store. An 11-storey (248- room) hotel has also been proposed.

Today, CHADSTONE is owned, in a 50/50 joint venture, by Melbourne's Gandel Group and Vicinity Centres, also based in Melbourne. 

Sources:

http://www.victorianplaces.com.au
The Age (Melbourne, Australia)
www.stonnington.vic.gov.au
http://www.chadstoneshopping.com.au
http://espace.library.uq.edu.au
www.theaustralian.com
http://www.chadstoneplace.com
http://www.shoppingcentrenews.com
https://sacsc.co.za (South African Council of Shopping Centers)
"Chadstone Shopping Centre" article on Wikipedia