Westfield Knox

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Westfield Knox
Location Wantirna South, Victoria, Australia
Opening date Knox City: 1977
Knox Ozone:
(as Knox District Centre)
1988
Developer AMP Capital Shopping Centres
Management Westfield Group
Owner Westfield Group
No. of stores and services ~350
No. of anchor tenants 8 major
15 minor
Total retail floor area 142,500 m2 (1,534,000 Sq Ft)[1]
No. of floors 4
Parking 6,391
Website westfield.com/knox
Map of Westfield Knox (from OpenStreetMap)

Westfield Knox (formerly known as Knox City Shopping Centre) is a super-regional shopping centre, outdoor entertainment and professional services complex located in the outer eastern Melbourne suburb of Wantirna South, in the Australian state of Victoria. The centre opened on 9 November 1977 with an initial 88 stores and 2300 parking spaces.

Presently, there are over 350 stores and over 6300 free car parking spaces, making the centre the third largest in Australia, and Westfield Group's second largest centre in Victoria, in terms of gross leasable area behind Westfield Fountain Gate. There is also a 7 storey office tower located at the southern side of the centre as well as low rise offices dotting the O-Zone precinct; an indoor food court and an outdoor restaurant strip mall. In October 2012, the Westfield Group acquired AMP's share of the centre and was subsequently rebranded as Westfield Knox as a result.

History[edit]

Former logo of Knox City Shopping Centre, and the logo for the Knox-O-Zone.

Planning for the development of the shopping centre commenced in 1972 when McIntyre, McIntyre and Partners Pty. Ltd. won a $30 million tender from the AMP Society to design the new complex in Wantirna South. Their successful design led to the construction of a Brutalist style building. Architect Peter McIntyre was given the Buildings Award Medal by the Victorian Chapter of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects in 1978 for the design of Knox City Shopping Centre.

Construction commenced in 1975 when the shopping centre was originally going to be named "Studwood Shopping Centre", however this name was later abandoned. The shopping centre was officially opened on 9 November 1977. The centre originally included a three-storey Myer department store, a twin Dendy Cinemas complex, public library, Target discount department store, Target supermarket, McEwans hardware and 83 speciality shops. A seven-storey high office tower was constructed on the south side of the building at the same time.

Throughout 1989 and 1990, the centre was doubled in size and the original section completely refurbished. A fourth floor was added to the Myer store, the undercover carparks were expanded and new promenade, market and food court areas were added. The Target supermarket was removed and new Coles and Bi-Lo supermarkets opened. Target was also expanded in size. Venture also opened on level two where Toys 'R' Us currently resides. The twin cinemas were replaced with a 10-screen Village Cinemas complex, which opened in 1988 (replaced in 2002 and now unused above JB Hi-Fi). On the adjacent block an outdoor shopping centre was established, known as the Knox District Centre (later Knox Towerpoint and now Knox O-Zone).

During 1997, the centre saw a minor refurbishment. An updated logo was introduced, along with new signage to complement. The food court was remodelled and introduced food decorations on the walls above the food outlets, palm trees, new tables and chairs as well as the opening of Hungry Jack's. Lincraft was also relocated when McEwans closed down, however it itself has closed down to make way for a new Harris Scarfe in October 2009. Best & Less moved into Lincraft's old retail space. The Reject Shop also moved from opposite Coles to The Market area.

In 2002, the centre was extended further at a cost of $150 million. The Knox Towerpoint complex was renamed Knox O-Zone and joined to Knox City Shopping Centre through an expansion of the shopping centre eastwards and redevelopment of the O-Zone shops. The eastern section of the centre was completely redeveloped, which opened on 17 October 2002 with the new Knox O-Zone opening on 31 October. The exterior of the existing shopping centre was also painted. Currently there are over 350 retailers throughout the complex and 6,391 car parking spaces available.

In October 2012, Westfield Group purchased the centre, adding it to their franchise.

Planned Expansion[edit]

As of April 2014, an application to expand the centre has been submitted to the Knox City Council.[2] Planning is currently at the preliminary stage and foresees a $450 million expansion southward from 142,500 m2 to 188,500 m2.[1] Among the proposals are an international retail and fashion precinct, a new cafe area and the relocation of a discount department store further towards the Burwood Hwy frontage to accommodate for new corridors. The bus interchange would be reconstructed near the O-Zone precinct, as well as the library, east from their present locations. Approximately 2650 additional parking spaces from new multi-deck car parks would also be available.

Retailers[edit]

Major anchors[edit]

Minor anchors[edit]

The Knox O-Zone complex also houses several community services including medical and dental services, the local library and a RACV shop.

Eateries[edit]

Eateries at the centre include two KFC and Hungry Jack's outlets, McDonald's, Red Rooster, Nando's, Subway, Oporto, along with many smaller outlets. Knox Tavern is also located within the Knox O-Zone complex, along with two other popular bars.

Transport[edit]

Westfield Knox provides parking for around 6300 vehicles and is serviced by 11 bus routes and taxis.

Parking[edit]

Parking at the centre is free, however some parking has a three hour time limit. Out of the 6300 car parks, approximately 2700 are undercover. Along the southern fringe of the shopping centre is a two deck car park with centre entrances to both levels scattered throughout. A two deck car park is also located at the rear of the centre with entrances to the Gallery North and Loft malls. The majority of disabled car parks are located on the top deck of this car park near the Loft entrance. A four level multi-deck car park is located near Village Cinemas in Knox O-Zone along with open air street parking scattered throughout the complex. An overflow car park is located at the very east of the centre behind the four level multi-deck car park, with an extended overflow grass area adjacent to this car park.

Public transport[edit]

Westfield Knox is directly serviced by SmartBus route 901 as well as 10 regular bus routes (664, 681, 682, 732, 737, 738, 745, 755, 757, 758), with the bus interchange located outside the main level two entrance to the centre at the southern side of the centre. The 732 bus service provides a guaranteed connection to every tram at Vermont South to and from Knox City. The current bus interchange opened on 27 August 2001 in the same location as the original 1977 bus interchange, after the old interchange between Westfield Knox and Knox O-Zone on Melbourne Street (where Melbourne Circle is currently located) shut down the day before. Two taxi ranks service the centre. A primary taxi rank which is located adjacent to the bus interchange and a secondary taxi rank operates late at night in Knox O-Zone outside The Comedy Club.

Filming[edit]

The mall has been utilised as a filming location a number of times in recent years for the Australian television soap, Neighbours, particularly the Village Cinemas entrance.

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Loussikian, Kylar; Wilmot, Ben (19 June 2014). "Westfield drives development pipeline as future of Scentre hangs in the balance". The Australian. Retrieved 19 June 2014. 
  2. ^ "Westfield Knox Planning Application". Knox City Council. Retrieved 19 June 2014.