A $65 million investment in the upgrade of Eaton Fair Shopping Centre will give the Greater Bunbury region in Western Australia a much needed retail boost.
Citygate Properties’ principal Geoff Prosser said that the complex will have the longest trading hours of any shopping centre in Western Australia and supports best practice activity centre design as per the new WA Planning Commission model.
With completion aimed for this November, the complex will include Kmart, Coles, Woolworths, almost 80 speciality retail and food tenancies, office and residential apartments, and will integrate with the civic precinct through a modern town square.
Community-friendly aspects of the design include a main street mall and food court strip, the cinema complex, as well as a small bar, restaurants and cafés which will interface with the town square.
For the first time in regional WA, the development will include 12 quality residential apartments located above the entrance of the main street, with views across parkland and recreation facilities.
This form of activity centre design has worked successfully in the eastern states, particularly in Victoria, and transformed areas into vibrant, modern ‘inner-city’ sanctuaries for families and young professionals to enjoy at all hours of the day and night.
Mr Prosser said that the trading hours of the centre will set it apart from any other centre in the State.
“The local laws permit 24/7 retail trading and we’re proud that the new-generation Coles supermarket plans to trade from 6am until midnight, seven days a week and the existing anchor, Woolworths, is expected to match those trading hours.”
“The Eaton Fair centre is busy seven days a week, even on Saturdays and Sundays. And that has not changed with the construction work on site.
Mr Prosser said that he had been delighted by the groundswell of community support for the ambitious shopping centre expansion.
“It was a long negotiation phase, but it’s been well worth it with an end result which will see this suburban focal point become a place where the community can meet and socialise.”
It is understood that frustration with the need to pay for limited convenient parking and bottleneck delays in the Bunbury CBD has led to shoppers increasingly favouring the bigger regional shopping centres.