Melbourne's Southern Cross Station nears full occupancy after major refurbishment


Large traffic numbers and strong retail trading results at Melbourne's Southern Cross Station have contributed to a wave of recent leasing transactions in one of the country's busiest transit hubs.

The station has recently undergone an extensive refurbishment - believed to be worth between $20 to $30 million - by AssetCo, a specialist asset management company established to manage public private partnerships.

The refurbishment has increased the gross lettable area of the station by approximately one-third to 6,600sqm.

The revamp was designed to accommodate the increase in patronage, with approximately 40 million commuters passing through Southern Cross Station last year.

CBRE's Retail Services team of Zelman Ainsworth and Max Cookes have recently secured local hospitality operator In a Rush Espresso and mobile phone retailer Vodafone for some of the last remaining retail tenancies.

Mr Ainsworth said negotiations were presently being concluded to fill the final vacancy.

“As there are approximately 47 retailers within the station with a further four sites proposed for the Bourke Street Bridge, it was critical the right retailers were secured which would complement the existing mix,” Mr Ainsworth said.

Existing tenants include Woolworths Express, Hungry Jacks, Red Rooster, Pie Face, Sugar Station, Tower Sushi, Mad Mex and Grill’d, with some retailers having secured two retail locations within the station to service the high pedestrian traffic.

One of the major retailers is Spotless who has seven retail locations within the station, some of which are under franchise agreements with major fast food operators such as Red Rooster, Sumo Salad, and Mad Mex.

Mr Ainsworth said the rapid rise in commuter numbers and changes in the precinct’s demographics had required a rethink of the retail mix and had resulted in strong results being achieved by the station’s new and existing retailers.

Leading Melbourne restaurateur Paul Mathis is in the process of completing a 362 square metre restaurant bar which will trade under the name Network Bar and Pizzeria.

The Network Bar and Pizzeria is scheduled to reach completion early July 2013.

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