St. Collins Lane
St. Collins Lane Atrium (2017)
|Address||260 Collins Street|
|Owner||JPMorgan Asset Management|
|No. of stores and services||55|
|Total retail floor area||9,000 square metres (97,000 sq ft)|
|No. of floors||3|
St. Collins Lane is a premium shopping centre which stretches between Collins and Little Collins streets in Melbourne, Australia. The first shopping centre on the site, the Australia Arcade, opened in 1939 as part of the Australia Hotel development. In 1992, a new centre, Australia On Collins, was constructed on the site, and was redeveloped from 2014 into the present building.
The centre has 35 operating stores and includes clothing, footwear and cosmetics outlets, as well as a food court. It leads directly into the Walk Arcade at the northern end, and faces Centre Place across Collins Street at the southern end, forming part of a chain of arcades and shopping centres which lead from Flinders Street Station to Melbourne Central Shopping Centre through the blocks between Elizabeth and Swanston streets.
From as early as 1870, the Collins Street block was the site of various hotels, the first of which was licensed by the Yorick Club, a gentlemen's club which leased various premises along Collins Street. Later, these businesses became known as part of "The Block", a fashionable shopping district incorporating the Block Arcade. The Hotel Australia, completed in 1939 and designed by Leslie M. Perrott, was a 12-storey building with 94 rooms. It incorporated parts of earlier hotels on the site, including a ballroom designed by Walter Burley Griffin. The hotel included a twin-screen cinema in the basement and a shopping arcade on the ground floor which was touted as the largest in Australia. This became known as the Australia Arcade.
In 1989, the Hotel Australia was demolished in preparation for the construction of a new development, which was completed in 1992 as Australia on Collins. The building's architecture was variously described as postmodern and imitating art deco style. In later years, Australia on Collins was criticised as "a poor man's temple to the great god of commercialism" and included in a list of Melbourne's worst buildings by The Age newspaper. The centre in this period included approximately 100 shops and a food court with space for 750 diners.
In April 2014, then owners LaSalle Investment Management (LIM) announced that the "dysfunctional" centre would be closed for a redevelopment costing A$30,000,000. Architects Ashton Raggat McDougall were engaged to improve the building's "sight lines" and to prevent customers from feeling "trapped", which resulted in the building being reduced from five levels to four. LIM stated that the redeveloped centre would be made up of larger stores with a focus on international luxury brands.
The redeveloped St. Collins Lane opened on 16 May 2016 and was immediately placed on the market by its owners, along with the Melbourne Novotel hotel. The centre had an approximately 70% tenancy rate at opening and was hoped by its owners to rival the recently opened Emporium Melbourne on Lonsdale Street.
The centre has 9,000 square metres (97,000 sq ft) of lettable floor space spread across 55 retail stores and 12 restaurants. As of May 2017[update], approximately 30 retailers were open, and 3 restaurants were operating on the top-floor "dining precinct".
- Lindsay, Nicole (1 June 2016). "Shops still shut at St. Collins Lane". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 22 August 2017.
- "Directory | St. Collins Lane Unique Melbourne Shopping Destination". Retrieved 2018-02-21.
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The overall aim is to improve the connection between Melbourne Central and Flinders Street railway stations through more north-south links such as Degraves Street, Australia on Collins, and the Causeway Arcade.
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- Spicer, Chrystopher J. "Australia Hotel". www.emelbourne.net.au. School of Historical Studies, Department of History, The University of Melbourne. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
- Munro, Peter (14 February 2010). "A blight on sore eyes: are these our worst buildings?". The Age. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
- Johanson, Simon (2 April 2014). "Collins Street mall to become another luxury retail centre". The Age. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
- Allen, Lisa; Condon, Turi (27 April 2016). "LaSalle puts $500m Melbourne hotel, retail complex on the block". The Weekend Australian. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
- Johanson, Simon (2 March 2016). "St Collins Lane opens in May, set to rival Emporium". The Age. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
- Wilmot, Ben (14 November 2016). "JPMorgan buys city precinct". The Australian. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
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