Monday, 19 October 2015

MILESTONE: Roselands Turns 50 - The Future

Roselands may have had its place in the hearts of Sydneysiders over the years. In order for shopping centre to survive and remain competitive, they have to respond to changing consumer trends and tastes. This has meant expanding centres to provide more retailers and services. Since 1965, there has only been one major expansion - in 1981 and an upgrade of the centre in 2000 to accommodate a modern food court (Raindrop Food Court).

However, they have faced planning hurdles, particularly with Canterbury Council. I remember in the early 2000s of a plan to construct a Hoyts cinema complex. This fell through. Another attempt for expansion a few years back was proposed. What happened to it? I don't know.

I have believed that some of the hurdles based with planning authorities combined with management practices of owners have meant that they have not able to be the benchmark for shopping centres in Sydney. It could have easily been our answer to Chadstone in Melbourne, which has been the benchmark for Melbourne shopping centres for more than five decades. Roselands has let its competition pace ahead and even centres built in more recent times would be well ahead.

A change of management has given Roselands the chance to keep up with the times. Federation Centres currently manage the complex. Earlier this year, they unveiled plans for a major upgrade and expansion of the centre to include an expanded retail offering. Myer (originally Grace Bros) will also reduce its footprint from three levels to two, with the lower floor to accommodate new retailers. The cinemas would be built above Myer.

The expansion will also see the introduction of another major discount department store (BigW), Woolworths Supermarket and Kmart store. The expansion will cover the southern parts of the site, where open-air carparks occupy space (on a normal day, they are empty). It will mean that Roselands Drive will be realigned along with Martin Street to cater for expansion

Source: Federation Centres. 2015. "Untitled" (Floorplans). Accessed October 15, 2015.

I hope it goes a fair way to bringing back the 'mojo' that Roselands once bought to Sydney, but that opportunity to remain or even regain the place of Sydney's shopping jewel is all but gone.

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