Melbourne food retail to get a boost

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 13th May 2008

Melbourne’s already exciting and diverse food retail sector is about to be boosted with the development of a number of new retail centres.

The three new developments in and around the CBD are set to be completed before the end of the year and they are a part of the ‘Melbourne Retail Strategy 2006:2012’.

Two of the developments are in the ever expanding Docklands area with the other being a new laneway between Bourke and Little Bourke Streets.

Melbourne Lord Mayor John So said the retail vision for Docklands envisaged a vibrant waterfront retail precinct that enhances and extends Melbourne’s globally acclaimed city to the waterfront.

“Docklands is an area of Melbourne that is going through continuous growth and a massive investment, further demonstrating the business confidence in the City of Melbourne, as our retail vision continues attract major investors who are identifying Melbourne as an enormous growth opportunity,” the Lord Mayor told the City of Melbourne website.

The major developments at Docklands are Merchant Street retail village at Victoria Harbour and Harbour Town at Waterfront City. Merchant Street is a $250 million development by Lend Lease due to open in late June with a number of food retailers due to open there including Degani Patisserie, Bread Top and Safeway. Harbour Town is a larger retail area with about 200 stores due to open and it will include a food and entertainment precinct providing a diverse range of international cuisine.

The Bourke-Little Bourke laneway, meanwhile, is set to open late this year and will be a key part of the Corner Bourke and Williams development. The laneway, Goldsborough Lane, will provide fashion and food and beverage outlets with restaurants and cafés to be among the many tenants.

Chair of the City of Melbourne’s Business and International Relations Committee, Cr Fiona Snedden, said the anchor of the city’s retail success was the diversity and offer of Melbourne’s now globally renowned laneways.

“Part of Melbourne’s distinct retail personality is the innovative use of its laneways network and above awning retail spaces. In the next 12 months, we will see further increased mix of commercial and retail buildings connected by lanes, concourses and open spaces,” Cr Snedden said.

“We are liaising with the industry to identify and develop ‘above awning’ levels for unique retail spaces. We’re talking to agents, landlords and the Property Council of Australia, as well as emerging designers and key educational institutions to identify and facilitate access to the unused spaces within the CBD.”

The Melbourne Retail Strategy 2006:2012, which is designed to ensure Melbourne’s status as Australia’s retail capital, is on the right track according to Industry and Trade Minister Theo Theophanous. “What the Year Two Report Card for the Melbourne Retail Strategy 2006:2012 tells us is that this city is well on its way to becoming a global retail capital,” Mr Theophanous stated. “Our unique mix of city retailers is diversifying all the time, and the report card shows increasing demand from lifestyle, food and beverage retailers.”