Written by Stefan Kostarelis
Property developer GLG wants to build a $35 million retail precinct in South Australia’s second biggest city.
The plans, which have been submitted to SA’s Development Assessment Commission, concern a 24,400 square metre site located at 58-72 Commercial Street East, Mount Gambier.
ABC News reports that the site is the former location of the old Fidler & Webb department store, which thrived in the 1860s and provided steady employment for many in the region.
GLG plans to move into Aldi, which will occupy a 1,740 square metre space. The existing Target which will occupy a 5,710 square metre tenancy, will be revamped.
Both Aldi and Target have already signed on, but there will be a further 31 specialty retail tenancies available in the new light-filled mall. There will also be on-site car parking with a capacity of around 300 spaces.
“We’re really excited to announce our development plans for what will be named the ‘Fidler & Webb’ retail centre in recognition of the site’s rich history and relevance to Mount Gambier” said Campbell Blennerhassett, director of GLG.
The new retail precinct will occupy a whole Mount Gambier city block, but will leave space for the South Australian Hotel. A historic pub that dates back to the 1860s.
“Our priority is to deliver a highly strategic and transformative development that revitalises Mount Gambier’s central township, while also activating Commercial Street East and being sensitive to the adjoining South Australian Hotel.” Blennerhassett added.
The development was designed by ClarkeHopkinsClarke Architects to match the scale of the existing streetscape and maintain a connection to the history of the area.
“The proposal comprises a single story, connected development with more traditional tenancies presenting to Commercial Street East that also draw references from the original Victorian Fidler & Webb Ltd facade,” said Tim Hargreaves from ClarkeHopkinsClarke Architects.
The Urban Developer reports that other key features of the proposed development include outdoor dining and adjoining tenancies suitable for cafes/restaurants, and internal and external landscaping that will include a variety of native and deciduous trees.
It is estimated that if the development goes through, it will create 160 short-term jobs during the construction phase and more than 250 jobs upon completion.
The last major retail project in the city was the $80 million Marketplace shopping complex which opened in 2012. According to ABC News, that complex has been plagued by vacant shopfronts and has led some to question if a city of 26,000 really needs another retail precinct.
GLG is run by the Melbourne-based Langer family, who have over 50 years of experience in property investment and development. According to GLG’s website, the company currently has over $200 million worth of assets under management.
GLG’s previous retail projects include Victoria’s Springvale Central and Springvale retail precinct, which were completed in 1998 and 2011 respectively.
If approved, construction of the new Fidler & Webb retail precinct is expected to commence in late 2017 and is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2018.