Forest Hill Chase Shopping Centre

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Forest Hill Chase Shopping Centre
New Forest Hill Chase Shopping Centre Logo.png
Forest Hill Chase Shopping Centre Logo
Location Forest Hill, Victoria, Australia
Opening date 30 June 1964
Developer Pacific Shopping Centres
Management Colonial First State Global Asset Management
Owner Colonial First State Global Asset Management
No. of stores and services 204
No. of anchor tenants 7 major
10 minor
Total retail floor area 64,935 m2 (698,950 sq ft)
No. of floors 3
Parking ~3400
Website www.foresthillchaseshopping.com.au
Entry 7 to the centre (the food court entry) from Mahoneys Road looking west.
View of the 3 levels of Forest Hill Chase Shopping Centre looking east, prior to the level 3 redevelopment.
The interior of Hoyts cimema auditorium 4 before refurbishment.
The previous Forest Hill Chase Shopping Centre logo. The typeface was used from 1989 until November 2007.

Forest Hill Chase Shopping Centre is a major regional shopping centre located in the eastern suburb of Forest Hill in the city of Melbourne, Australia. Owned and managed by Colonial First State Retail Property Trust, the centre is among the oldest in Victoria, opening on 30 June 1964 as an outdoor strip shopping centre, before being developed over the years into its current three level indoor form. Currently, Forest Hill Chase contains 204 stores and 3388 free car parking spaces. The centre has two supermarkets, two discount department stores and one traditional department store spread across 3 levels. The architecture is distinguished by a roof of polycarbonate construction with a barrel vault design.

History[edit]

Forest Hill opened as a strip mall shopping centre in June 1964 before gradually growing during the '70s and '80s with larger stores, a multi-deck car park adjacent to Canterbury Road, the development of a Safeway supermarket and an enclosed two storey building at the southern end of the site (where Big W, Harris Scarfe and Safeway currently reside).

Forest Hill's conversion from a hybrid (strip mall / indoor) centre to a fully indoor site began in June 1987 with the demolition of the strip mall section, and the construction of a three storey extension to the existing building, which housed major tenants including Coles, Venture, Kmart and Hoyts, and was completed in 1989.

During circa 1997, Harris Scarfe was downsized from its two level form to occupying only level 1, to allow a new Big W store to open in the now vacant space on level 2. An AMF Bowling centre and children's play centre Run Riot was constructed on Level 3 a couple of years later.

In December 2004, Melbourne businessman Maurice Alter sold the Forest Hill Chase shopping centre to listed retail property trust CFS Gandel, managed by Colonial First State Property, for $214.5 million. The sale was close to being the largest national (Australian) retail property deal of the year and which included property management rights and the potential for redevelopment. At the time of purchase, Colonial First State Property fund manager Bevan Towning ruled out any immediate major redevelopment plans, saying the intention was to change the centre's retailing mix by introducing the same national brands it had at its other shopping centres, Chadstone and Northland. They also wanted to revitalize the centre and give it a "New look."

2007–2012 major redevelopments[edit]

Levels one and two (2006−2007)[edit]

In the biggest redevelopment of the centre since 1989, levels one and two of the centre were completely refurbished in 2007. Major milestones of the redevelopment program, which started in December 2006, are as follows:

  • The Relocation of Kmart Tyre and Auto Service from next to the centre entrance to the former Kmart, to a new free standing site in Pacific Way, which was completed in March 2007.
  • The refurbishment of the level one and two interior malls, with new floor tiling laid, removal of the traditional gold balustrades with modern steel balustrades installed, and the removal of the stairwells at the south of the centre near Big W.
  • The level two toilets were fully refurbished, completed in June 2007.
  • The Mahoneys Road entrance was upgraded, with the existing canopy replaced and upgraded with a terrace installed on level 3 for use by The Chase Hotel, which was completed by June 2007.
  • Kmart's permanent closure on 31 January 2007 and subsequent conversion to a Target, which opened in September 2007.
  • The refurbishment and extension of the food court, completed in September 2007.

Level three (2010–2011)[edit]

The third level was expanded and refurbished during the second half of 2010, complimenting the earlier refurbishment of the other levels of the centre and introducing a number of new tenants. The redeveloped level officially re-opened on 15 December 2010 with some retailers opening earlier or later in the following months.

  • The refurbishment of level 3, including mall reconfiguration, expansion and renovation, new escalators between levels two and three, and a new centre entry to a new car park, completed in December 2010.
  • The construction of an additional deck of car parking located west of Hoyts above the existing Target/Coles multi-deck car park, including 317 spaces, opening on 15 December 2010.
  • Establishing a new 'Entertainment and Dining' precinct with a downsized, refurbished Hoyts cinema, three new restaurants as well as new minor anchor retailers JB Hi-Fi and Rebel Sport and gymnasium chain run by Fit n Fast.

Replacing Myer and new fresh food market (2012)[edit]

In 2012 Harris Scarfe returned to the centre and spent more than $2 million redeveloping the store in the area previously occupied by Myer.

The centre also expanded its fresh food market on level one, which included a new ALDI supermarket on top of the Canterbury Road multi deck car park, which caused a small increase in undercover parking. A new refurbished bus zone was also built as a result. (A temporary bus zone was constructed adjacent to Kmart Tyre & Auto during construction).

Minor improvements (2013)[edit]

The glass lift in the food court that travels from the basement car park through to level 3 was replaced, as the existing lift was too small, causing heavy congestion as it became the only fully accessible way to move between levels 2 and 3 after the level 3 redevelopment. The expanded lift is now operating and carries up to 26 people. New facade and centre entrance treatments were also installed along the Canterbury Road car park frontage and around the Level 2 Big W centre entry.

Retailers[edit]

Major anchors[edit]

Minor anchors[edit]

  • Dimmeys discount variety store. (1,858 m2 (20,000 sq ft))
  • Best & Less clothing store. (Opened 24 November 2010 1,100 m2 (12,000 sq ft))
  • JB Hi-Fi electrical and computer store. (Opened 25 November 2010)
  • The Reject Shop discount variety store.
  • Priceline Pharmacy health and beauty store.
  • The Chase Hotel bar/gaming lounge/TAB.
  • Rebel Sport sporting goods store. (Opened 11 December 2010)
  • Timezone arcade centre (Opened 12 March 2011).
  • Fit n Fast Health Club/Gym (Opened 21 July 2011).
  • TGI Friday's restaurant (Opened 23 August 2011)

Former anchors[edit]

  • Myer department store (clothing, cosmetics and homewares only). (2007-2012) 4,700 m2 (51,000 sq ft).)
  • Kmart discount department store. (1989 - 2007) 7,700 m2 (83,000 sq ft)
  • The Pancake Parlour restaurant. (1991 - 2010)
  • McEwans hardware store. ( c1989 - 2002)
  • Casual and Country Living furniture store.
  • Warehouse Sales electronics and whitegoods store.
  • Amber's Playhouse children's play centre (originally known as Run Riot. 1997 - 2008)
  • Fosseys discount department store.
  • Factorie clothing store (originally known as Australian Way of Life, A.W.O.L.)
  • Chain Reaction clothing store
  • Venture Discount Department Store (Occupied part of the top level of the shopping centre prior to it being redeveloped in 1989. It moved to where Dimmeys is now until they closed).
  • The Body Shop (? - April 2013)
  • Mighty Muirs Dept/appliance store. prior 1987
  • SSW supermarket. prior 1987

Prominent restaurants and fast food[edit]

Prominent restaurants include T.G.I. Friday's, Nando's and Secret Recipe, all located on level three. Fast food outlets at the centre include McDonald's, KFC and Subway, which are located in the level one food court, as well as a stand-alone Hungry Jack's located north west outside of the centre on Canterbury Road.

Trading hours[edit]

The standard trading hours for most shops is 9:00 am to 5:30 pm Monday–Wednesday, 9:00 am to 9:00 pm Thursday–Friday, 9:00am to 5:00 pm on Saturday and 10:00 am to 5:00 pm Sunday. The supermarkets however are open from early morning till 10:00 pm. Major anchor stores normally have extended standard trading hours. Level three is open till 1:00 am the next day from Sunday to Thursday and until 3.00am the next day on Friday and Saturday.

Transport[edit]

Forest Hill Chase provides free, mostly un-timed parking for over 3200 vehicles and is serviced by four bus routes and taxis.[1]

Parking[edit]

Adjoining the centre are several multideck carparks, resulting in the majority of parking at the centre being undercover. A three deck car park is located off Canterbury Road while a four deck car park is located off Pacific Way to the east of the centre, adjacent to Coles, Target and Hoyts. 300 car parks are located on the level three deck of this car park, providing rooftop parking for level three access. Another two deck car park is located off Pacific Way to the south of the centre which services Safeway and Big W. Basement parking directly beneath the centre can be accessed from Glebe Street or Mahoneys Road. Three open-air car parks exist around Kmart Tyre and Auto, the Big W Loading Dock and adjacent to the Pacific Way/Mahoneys Road roundabout.

Public transport[edit]

Forest Hill Chase is directly serviced by SmartBus route 703 services operating on a deviation as well as three regular bus routes (735, 736, 765), with bus stops located underneath the Aldi store in the market area of the centre (via the northern entrance).[2]

Taxis can be accessed from a rank on the eastern side of the centre (on Mahoneys Rd).

The Rocket[edit]

In April 1965 a multi-level, children's climbing structure in the shape of a rocket was installed in the eastern garden forecourt, next to the radio booth, of the then Forest Hill Shopping Centre. It was extremely popular with several generations of children and their parents and remained there until June 1987 when it was eventually removed to make way for redevelopment of the centre. It was subsequently restored by parents of the Syndal South Primary School and erected in the playground of the school where it is still in use today. A plaque commemorating its history has been placed on it.

References[edit]

External links[edit]