A rendering of the office tower and hotel that are being built in the mall's south parking area.
Drawing from http://www.stonnington.vic.gov.au



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


The first regional-class shopping mall in The Land Down Under was situated on a 33 acre spread, located 7.5 miles southeast of Melbourne's Central Business District. The site was within the City of Monash Local Government Area, in a post-war suburban housing development.

CHADSTONE CENTRE was technically the second mall-type shopping precinct in Greater Melbourne. A small, community-class complex, known as BELL STREET MALL, had opened -in 1956- in the City of Banyule, a northeastern suburb. It was dwarfed by the new CHADSTONE CENTRE. 

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

Construction commenced on the 6 million dollar -355,200 square foot- CHADSTONE CENTRE in February 1959, with its grand opening taking place October 3, 1960. The complex consisted of a Ground Level, open-air retail floor, with a partial basement concourse on its northeast end.

On its southwest end stood a 3-level (153,000 square foot) Myer department store. There were an additional one hundred and four tenants, including 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 in the nation).

At the centre of the centre, the mallway was faced by only one row of stores. On the opposite side was a large, open Garden Plaza. This included an Indoor Garden pavilion and, on its north end, a glass-enclosed kiosk which housed a studio for radio station 3UZ.

The concept of CHADSTONE as a "one stop & shop" retail hub was enforced by the inclusion of services 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, also within the City of Monash}. The thirty-two shop centre first traded to the public in 1967. It was, in its early years, a smaller, community-class complex which has been substantially expanded since that time.

Next came SOUTHLAND CENTRE {5 miles southwest, in the City of Kingston}, 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, in the City of Knox}. Encompassing eighty-three stores in its original incarnation, the shopping precinct opened for business in 1977. It has also been substantially expanded in the ensuing years.


The Myer Emporium sought to buy into Sydney's Grace Brothers department store chain, at the time 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, "Chaddy" enveloped 430,500 lettable square feet.

A three-stage renovation soon got underway. Phase One consisted of the enclosure of the existing mall, with its basement being expanded into a full level of retail. 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 to its east. A 2-level Northeast Wing was also constructed, connecting with the new Coles supermarket. This store was dedicated in October 1985. A 1-level Kmart 

Phase Three involved building a 2-level structure on the original Dickens / Coles supermarket site. It housed a 1-level (96,800 square foot) Target on its Ground (Upper) Level, which opened in late 1985. An 8-screen Hoyts Cinema, on the Lower Level, showed its first features December 13, 1986.

America's RTKL Architects were engaged to design the next mall expansion. It would consist of a 2-level "Loop Mall", constructed along the southeast side of the centre. It featured three interconnected glass-vaulted roofs and a skylight dome. This all connected into the Chadstone Corner mall wing, built on the southeast corner of the complex. These modifications were completed in 1990. CHADSTONE now encompassed approximately 1,011,800 lettable square feet.

In April 1994, Sydney's Colonial First State Global Asset Management concern acquired a fifty percent interest in the shopping centre. It was expanded again. A 1-level (77,500 square foot) Kmart was added to its Lower Level, which first traded to the public in early 1995. Several multilevel car parks were also constructed. The Myer store, at the southwest end of the complex, was knocked down and replaced by a curving, 2-level wing of shops.

This was anchored by two 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, an expanded Hoyts Chadstone multiplex, now with 16 screens, was completed. The mall now spanned approximately 1,356,200 lettable square feet.

In July 2007, CHADSTONE CENTRE embarked upon yet another major upgrade. Costing upwards of 100 million dollars, the Chadstone Place extension was an outward-facing collection of Main Street-style shops. It included a 4-storey office tower, Woolworths Supermarket and other "mini majors", such as a First Choice Liquors Superstore and Dick Smith Electronics. These businesses first traded to the public between October and December of 2008.

Work had commenced on the West Mall renovation in March 2008. This project saw the west end of the existing mall gutted and replaced by a wing of luxury retailers, including Louis Vuitton, Prada, Tiffany & Company and Gucci. These upscale stores began trading to the public in August 2009.

With these renovations and additions, CHADSTONE CENTRE encompassed 2,045,100 lettable square feet and housed an astounding five hundred and thirty stores and services. It had reclaimed the title of Australia's largest shopping centre, a distinction it held between October 1960 and October 1965.

Yet another expansion of "Chaddy" was approved by the local governing body in November 2012. This time around, the circa-1985-1986 north section of the mall (Target and the Hoyt's Cinema) were to be demolished and replaced by a 4-level Entertainment Zone. This would house a subterranean car park, new Target, 13-screen megaplex cinema and forty inline stores. 

Moreover, a 10-storey office tower, 11-storey (240 room) hotel and parking deck would be built adjacent to the existing Myer store. When these projects are completed, CHADSTONE CENTRE will encompass approximately 2,378,800 lettable square feet. A completion date of mid-2017 has been provided.

Sources:

"Chadstone Shopping Centre" article on Wikipedia
The Age (Melbourne)
http://www.chadstoneshopping.com.au
http://espace.library.uq.edu.au
www.theaustralian.com