|Location||Crown Street, Wollongong, NSW|
|Owner||GPT Wholesale Shopping Centre Fund|
|No. of stores and services||220+|
|No. of anchor tenants||2|
|Total retail floor area||80,270 m2 (864,019 sq ft)|
|No. of floors||3|
Wollongong Central is a major shopping centre in the Illawarra region, located in the CBD of Wollongong, New South Wales approximately 90 kilometres south of Sydney. It is operated and managed by Australian property investment company, General Property Trust (GPT). It is of local importance and is used by much of the Illawarra community as a social and shopping centre. It is situated in the western half of the Crown Street Mall.
Whilst Wollongong Central today is one complete shopping centre, it was originally two separate and distinct shopping centres. Crown Central shopping centre was constructed and opened in 1975 by the Abbey Capital Property Group on the northern side of Crown Street, taking the majority of the Crown Street frontage between Keira Street and Church Street. In 1986, a joint venture between Wollongong City Council and Kern Corporation developed the Crown Gateway shopping centre on the site of the former Coles Building on the southern side of Crown Street, extending through to Burelli Street.
In the late 1990s, Crown Central was purchased by the GPT Group, and a short period later, GPT acquired Crown Gateway from Wollongong City Council. GPT then developed a pedestrian bridge to join the two centres, and re-branded the combined complex as Wollongong Central.
The centre currently features part of a David Jones department store, a Myer department store over three levels, and approximately 140 stores in the centre itself. In addition, there are also around 300 other retail outlets in the adjacent Crown Street Mall, which Wollongong Central is part of.
The South building (formerly Crown Gateway) has three main floors. Mini-major Rebel Sport occupies part of the bottom level, which opens to Burelli Street to the south at ground level. The upper two levels are primarily accessed from Crown Street Mall and predominantly contain specialty stores, fashion outlets, and cafes. Myer occupies all three levels.
The North building (formerly Crown Central) has two main floors, and unlike Gateway is at street level to Crown Street Mall. The first floor features mini-major electronics store JB Hi-Fi, and part of the David Jones department store, and the second floor features another mini-major, Best & Less clothing store.
The main premises of the David Jones department store is in a separate building (not part of Wollongong Central) which connects to the eastern end of Wollongong Central's North building via a pedestrian bridge over Crown Street Mall.
On top of the south-western corner of the North Building is a five-level office tower, previously known as Crown Tower.
At Christmas, Easter and other festivities the mall is decorated, and flagpoles show banners in the mall below.
Current Development Plans
Wollongong Central is going through a huge $300 million redevelopment, at the same time as the Crown Street Mall facelift, due to be completed mid-2014. The redevelopment will expand the centre's GLA (Gross Lettable Area) from 38,900 m2 (418,716 sq ft) to 80,270 m2 (864,019 sq ft), making it the largest shopping centre in the Illawarra region.
The GPT Group proposed a new, six-storey (including three stories of retail) building as an extension in April 2008, however in September 2008 announced the project was shelved until 2010. West Keira was once again proposed by the GPT Group in August 2010, and was approved by the NSW State Government Minister for Planning. Construction of West Keira is well under way, and is expected to be completed in October 2014.
North Building Renovations
In 2009, the North building underwent extensive $20 million interior renovations which completely revamped the interior of the building, giving it a much more modern and classier look. The renovations were met with positive feedback.
The North building will be extensively modified on its western side to accommodate a pedestrian bridge linking it to the new West Keira building. The exterior of the shopping centre will also be modified to match the West Keira building.
South Building Renovations
Future Development Plans
GPT has concept approval for two towers to be built on top of the new West Keira building - a 10-level commercial office tower on the north-east corner, and an 18-level residential tower on the south-west corner, along with an additional two parking levels on top of the West Keira podium. There is no timetable for the construction of these towers.
- "About Us". Wollongong Central. Retrieved 2009-05-09.
- "Development". Wollongong Central. GPT.
- "Wollongong City Library - Suburb profiles: Wollongong" Retrieved on 29 June 2013.
- "Crown Street Mall - 25 Years of History" Illawarra Mercury, Wollongong, 19 September 2011. Retrieved on 29 June 2013.
- "Wollongong Central home page". Wollongong Central. Retrieved 2011-04-29.
- Wollongong Central Redevelopment
- Doubts on Central expansion
- GPT's West Keira development shelved until 2010
- GPT proposes Crown St development
- $30m facelift for Central shopping centre
- New face for Wollongong Central
- Sparkling new plan for mall's Myer half
- GPT poised to move on mall plan?
- NSW Dept of Planning - Concept Plan Approval