The revitalisation of Melbourne’s retail heart carries on with ISPT recently green lighting construction for the Strand Arcade redevelopment, valued at $20 million. Located on Elizabeth Street between Little Bourke and Lonsdale Streets, the arcade will see its internals gutted and reconstructed, creating 23 new retail tenancies over 2,343sqm of space.
The exterior will also receive an upgrade with Studio 505 designing a new façade for the building featuring the installation of colourful glass fins. These fins will appear near translucent during the day, but light up into a burst of colour during evening hours. The public realm is enhanced through the activation of Driver Lane which adjoins the building. As it stands, the current lane offers very little use or benefit to the public with nothing enticing people bar a small obscure entrance to Strand Arcade at its end.
The redevelopment however will see the area transformed to include a number of new boutique outlets opened up along the lane, encouraging people from Elizabeth Street into the revamped area. Australia Post, which currently holds a lease in the Strand on the corner of Elizabeth and Little Bourke Streets has pre-committed to leasing space in the new development, taking up 540sqm on the opposite corner along Lonsdale Street for a new flagship outlet.
The Strand Arcade is not the only redeveloped retail space that is forecast to hit the city over the next 12 months, with Colonial First State’s Emporium development set to see the former Myer department store transformed into 46,175sqm of boutique shopping space over 8 levels. Opposite Strand Arcade, it is highly rumoured that the GPO Building is to also be refurbished, laying claim to Australia’s first H&M store in the process.
Add recently completed redevelopments of both Myer and David Jones in the immediate area add the precinct at large can now strengthen its claim as Australia's most impressive retail destination.
A YouTube clip of the Strand Arcade finished product:
The redeveloped Strand Arcade is set to open early 2014.