Roselands Drive and Roseland Avenue
Municipality of Canterbury (Wiley Park), New South Wales

The rivalry between Australia's two largest cities, Sydney and Melbourne, was intensified by the advent of CHADSTONE CENTRE, the nation's first regional-class shopping complex. "Chaddy" had opened, in Melbourne's southeastern environs, in October 1960. It took the sibling city 430 miles northeast some years to top Melbourne's mega mall, but this was eventually accomplished.

A 30 acre site, located 8.5 miles southwest of Sydney's CBD, was acquired by the Grace Brothers department store chain in 1958. The tract had been developed for Belmore House, a country manor, in 1883.  In July 1946, the Roselands Golf Club opened on the estate. The course had been named Roselands as a homage to a local resident's spectacular rose garden.

Construction commenced on ROSELANDS CENTRE in June 1964. The fully-enclosed structure was developed by the aforementioned Grace Brothers and designed by the Sydney-based firm of Whitehead & Payne. It cost 12 million dollars and originally enveloped 600,000 lettable square feet.

Upon is official dedication, held October 12, 1965, ROSELANDS was the largest shopping centre in the Southern Hemisphere...a distinction held until August 1971, when an enlargement of Greater Sydney's MIRANDA FAIR mall moved ROSELANDS CENTRE to the second place position.

In 1965, ROSELANDS was, indeed, a state-of-the-art shopping precinct. Its primary anchor, a 3-level (257,200 square foot), Sydney-based Grace Brothers, was the largest suburban department store in the nation. The centre's Gallery Level featured one of the world's earliest shopping mall Food Courts; the 7-bay 4 Corners Gourmet

Moreover, there was the Jack & Jill Child-Minding Centre with a closed-circuit television hook-up, which broadcast to several monitor screens throughout the complex. This way, parents could leave their children at the facility and be able to check up on them from virtually anywhere within the 3-level mall.

The concept of a weather-protected car park (parking garage) at a shopping centre was also a novel concept at the time, as was an in-mall movie house; in this case, the single-screen Roselands Theatre Beautiful.

In addition to its gargantuan Grace Brothers, ROSELANDS housed "mini-major" shops, such as Katies Fashion Store, a Coles Variety Store and Coles New World Supermarket. There were also a professional concourse of medical and dental offices, laundromat, Esso "petrol outlet" and a public Community Room.

Original shops and services included Pet Bazaar, Coffee Roost on the Terrace, Wilkinson's Pharmacy, Gallery Gift Alcove, the Viking Restaurant and Rendezvous Cocktail Lounge. In all, there were eighty-three tenants.

Mall-type shopping centres in the vicinity of ROSELANDS included MIRANDA FAIR / WESTFIELD SHOPPINGTOWN MIRANDA (1964) {7 miles southeast, in the Southerland Shire}, BANKSTOWN SQUARE / CENTRO BANKSTOWN (1966) {2.1 miles northwest, in the City of Bankstown}, WESTFIELD SHOPPINGTOWN, LIVERPOOL (1972) {8.2 miles west, in the City of Liverpool} and WESTFIELD SHOPPINGTOWN HURSTVILLE (1978) {2.9 miles southeast, in the City of Hurstville}.

A proposal for a small expansion of ROSELANDS CENTRE created a great deal of controversy in 1977 but was approved in December 1978, with the project concluding in 1981. A third level parking deck was added. Target opened a prototype "new look" store in the mall on September 25, 1986.

Renovations were also done between March 1991 and August 1992, extending the retail area of ROSELANDS toward the north and east. The centre now encompassed 663,500 lettable square feet and over one hundred and sixty stores and services. By this time, the mall, once the largest in Australia, had been surpassed in size by several other "down under" shopping hubs.

The Melbourne-based Centro Properties Group (a.k.a. Centro Retail) acquired the complex in July 1998 and renamed it CENTRO ROSELANDS. The Grace Brothers location was rebranded, as a Melbourne-based Myer, in September 2004.

In the present day, major tenants in CENTRO ROSELANDS include Best & Less (apparel & linens), Lincraft (fabrics & notions) and Coles and Food For Less supermarkets. The mall's proprietor, Centro Retail, morphed into a new entity, known as Federation Centres, in January 2013.

A third ROSELANDS expansion has been on the drawing board since the early 2000s. A plan was submitted to the local governing body in 2003, but was rejected. A second expansion and renovation prospectus was submitted in October 2015. 

Under this proposal, the mall would be extended with a Southeast Wing, taking out an existing parking area. The Myer anchor store was be downsized to 2-levels, with a cinema megaplex installed in its former third floor. Two new supermarkets, a second discount department store, "Fresh Food Hall" (food court) and two carparks (parking garages) would be built. Space would also be created for several new inline stores.


The Sydney Morning Herald
"Centro Roselands" article on Wikipedia