Luxury shopping destination St Collins Lane was taken over by new ownership and property management, in a move that is set to transform the Collins Street retail precinct yet again.
Institutional investors advised by J.P. Morgan Asset Management recently purchased the CBD shopping centre from LaSalle Investments, and appointed Colliers International to the management of the asset.
“This is an extremely exciting appointment for Colliers International to such a unique, premium brand CBD retail asset,” Colliers International Director of Retail for Real Estate Management Susan Etches said.
“We see this as an invaluable opportunity to build on a long-standing relationship with a significant client.”
The ARM Architects-designed St Collins Lane has become a popular destination for international and local designer brands since opening in May last year, following a $30 million redevelopment of the Australia on Collins site.
The centre includes 55 retail tenancies across four levels, as well as a dining terrace which offers eight food and beverage tenancies, including Neil Perry’s Burger Project.
Flagship stores TAG Heuer and Coach front Collins Street, while Paris-based labels Sandro and Maje occupy twin flagships on Little Collins Street. Several other international and Australian brands, such as Reiss, MJ Bale and Furla, have stores within the centre.
“We’re ready to unite existing and new retailers with their customers in this most unique asset,” Ms Etches said.
“With Debenhams currently fitting out its first Australian department store at St Collins Lane, the next chapter for the centre is set to be a very exciting one.
“We are looking forward to continuing our successful relationship with J.P. Morgan Asset Mangement and being a part of the centre’s continuing story.”
The St Collins Lane precinct has effectively delivered a pedestrian pathway between Collins and Little Collins streets and created a “missing link” of laneways between Flinders Street and Lonsdale Street.
"It was important for the new retail design to engage with passers-by at a street level and create a welcoming, inviting space,” ARM Design Director Neil Masterton said.
“This concept of connectivity at ground level stems from Melbourne's arcade and laneway culture, where people actively engage with the city’s finer grain pedestrian routes rather than via main arterial roads.”
ARM chose a warm colour palette, using shades of champagne and soft metallics, to reflect the nature of the centre’s luxury international brands.
“The design makes a concerted effort to steer away from the typical retail experience, which is sterile and minimalistic, towards the visual luxury of traditional arcades,” Mr Masterton said.
Ms Etches said she believed ARM had fulfilled its vision to create a luxury shopping destination that stood apart from other retail centres in Melbourne’s CBD.
“It is important for St Collins Lane to be flexible, to be able to evolve and adapt to new uses, and to be responsive to consumer behaviours in future years,” she said.