Marrickville Metro planned development artist impression

A$142m mall facelift to “celebrate the food and art culture” of Sydney’s inner west

The popular Marrickville Metro shopping centre in Sydney’s inner west, is to undergo a $142 million upgrade to take advantage of the stronger demand for food-related retailing in these densely populated locations.

Marrickville Metro planned development
Marrickville Metro planned development
One of the busiest centres, the Metro will see an increased weighting to al fresco dining, expanded supermarkets, leisure outlets and more fresh food offerings.

The development, which AMP Capital is managing on behalf of owner UniSuper, will extend the existing Metro centre to the south between Smidmore and Edinburgh Roads, Marrickville.

Once completed, Marrickville Metro Shopping Centre will have expanded from 22,000 square metres to 33,000 square metres and will host an additional 44 new retailers, including a Coles supermarket.

According to AMP Capital’s global head of real estate Carmel Hourigan, the development will support the significant growth and transformation occurring in Marrickville and the inner west.

Ms Hourigan said it will be designed to ”celebrate the food and art culture of Sydney’s inner west and reflect the industrial heritage of the area”.

The shift to more food offerings is a reflection of the changing tides of the retail sector, according to analyst research.

The devaluation in values of non-flagship shopping centres by Vicinity Centres last week has thrown the spotlight on how times are tough for non-food retailer tenants.

According to Cushman and Wakefield research, the uncertain outlook for retail centres is likely to continue to drive elevated transaction volume for sub regional centres.

”A softening of capitalisation rates in this centre class is possible. As such, liquidity is forecast to continue with institutional investors looking to recycle capital,” the research says.

”Assets with a clear repositioning story or with a focus on everyday essentials, such as
neighbourhood centres, are expected to remain attractive.”

Marrickville Metro’s upgrade also comes as Sydney’s inner west is undergoing a significant number of construction projects, which are under way or proposed.

The upgrade of the centre will be supported by total trade area population growth of 2.3 per cent per annum since 2011, and projected growth of 1.5 per cent per annum, to reach a population of 440,000 by 2021.

Ms Hourigan said AMP Capital and UniSuper are both long-term investors in NSW, and AMP Capital anticipates the project will generate 200 construction jobs and more than 600 job opportunities for the local community on completion.

The upgrade has started and is anticipated to take about two years to complete. It will encompass a disused industrial warehouse located next to the Metro’and will maintain much of the existing warehouse façade, while extending south between Smidmore Street and Edinburgh Road.

The development has been designed by Hames Sharley, and ADCO Constructions has been appointed as construction partner. It will also involve local artists to create designs from the area.

UniSuper’s head of property & infrastructure Kent Robbins said the fund is ”delighted to begin the next stage of the Marrickville Metro development, which will not only expand the size of the Metro to meet the demands of the growing inner west community, but also ensure it reflects the essence of the inner west”.

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald

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