The Street – Westfield’s new generation entertainment and leisure precinct

28 April 1999

Countries: Australia

A new direction in shopping centre entertainment and leisure facilities will be unveiled at Westfield Shoppingtown Southland in Melbourne’s southern region on April 29.

Called The Street the new precinct will feature Australia’s most advanced cinema complex featuring the latest world-class projection and sound technology. The Street will also feature several restaurants and bars, with varying themes and ‘browsing’ retail including music and sports stores and has been designed specifically as an after-hours entertainment zone reflecting the popularity and ambience of a city street.

Convenient parking, safety and access are also features of the new precinct, which fronts the Nepean Highway that takes 80,000 vehicles past the centre each day.

The Street is the first completed stage of the soon-to-be-relaunched ‘Great Southland’ project, which has a redevelopment budget of $285 million funded by joint owners AMP and Westfield Trust.

According to Westfield managing director Steven Lowy, Westfield’s new precinct concept illustrates the group’s philosophy on the benefits of merging retail with entertainment.

“We see shopping centres in the future moving increasingly towards broader usage with opportunities for everyone in the community to meet, shop, eat, and be entertained,” Mr Lowy said.

“It’s part of our strategy of providing an overall experience that cannot be replicated in the home, so we’re creating the right atmosphere with a total lifestyle approach. As well as all of our traditional goods and services, we want our shopping centres to sell an experience – the sort of experience that is memorable enough to keep people coming back for more. “

George Livery, General Manager, Village Cinemas Australia said the new Southland complex would set the benchmark for Village Cinemas globally.

“It’s the world’s ultimate cinema experience,” Mr Livery said, “encompassing the three separate concepts – Cinema Europa, Gold Class Cinemas and our ‘cinemas of the future’ multiplexes. We are certain that the Melbourne cinema public will embrace this latest concept.”

Mr Lowy said The Street was a fresh new design concept for shopping centres in Australia.

“We have planned it to be a community-focused destination for entertainment, socialising and relaxation, with options for all ages and interests.

“The goal was to create an experience for customers at all levels, ranging from the special attention of our concierge service through to interactive shopping, the world’s best cinema choices and a broad range of eating options – from casual cafes to quality restaurants.

“We are confident The Street will emerge as a strong sub-brand for Westfield and help to position Southland as one of Victoria’s most popular shopping and entertainment venues.”

Key components of the The Street include:

  • Village Cinemas Southland – a 16 screen cinema complex – including Cinema Europa and Gold Class Cinemas – with more than 3,200 seats. All auditoriums feature wide screens, stadium seating and digital sound for the world’s ultimate cinema experience

  • lifestyle/experience interactive shopping (eg: Hanna Sports, Jetty Surf, Jungle Music)

  • themed restaurants, bars and nightclubs (a Saloon Bar, various cafes and restaurants)

  • ease of access and parking (concierge staff).

The Street will mean 350 new jobs for Melbourne – 150 in the cinema complex.

Elsewhere on the Southland project work is progressing on the two level mall which now spans the Nepean Highway with further staged openings scheduled for later this year and full project completion in the first half of next year.

The finished project will have 11 major retailers: Myer, David Jones, Target Home, BigW, Safeway, Harris Scarfe, Franklins Fresh, Coles, Kmart, Village cinemas and Billy Guyatts, plus 350 specialty stores and parking for 5,700 cars.