Centre on track to become the world’s most sustainable retail development
- Burwood Brickworks on track to achieve Living Building Challenge™ certification
- To be anchored by Woolworths, Dan Murphy’s, Reading Cinemas and acre Farm & Eatery
- Shopping centre on schedule to open next month 95 per cent leased
MELBOURNE, 8 NOVEMBER 2019
Frasers Property Australia is on track to open what will be the world’s most sustainable retail development next month at the Burwood Brickworks mixed-use community in Melbourne, with the vision to create a new benchmark for community-based shopping centres and global sustainability to be realised.
The 13,000 sqm shopping centre at Burwood Brickworks will open 95 per cent leased with the leasing campaign achieving above market results in terms of rents – circa $1,200 per sqm gross on average – as well as longer lease terms, the strength of business covenants and meeting the desired tenant mix.
Frasers Property is aiming for Burwood Brickworks to be the first retail development in the world to achieve Living Building Challenge™ certification, the most advanced measure of sustainability in the built environment. Anchor tenants Woolworths, Dan Murphy’s, Reading Cinemas and acre Farm & Eatery are on board.
acre Farm & Eatery will occupy the 2,000 sqm rooftop urban farm in a first for this type of use in an Australian retail centre, in addition to an array of speciality shops that complement Frasers Property’s super-neighbourhood centre niche, including Cannings Butchers, Choice Pharmacy, Biome, New Northcote Tavern, Norwood Café and Dogue.
The super-neighbourhood centre has a forecast value on completion of approximately $120 million with a forecast year one moving annual turnover of over $100 million. It will also house a 102-place childcare centre, Insight Early Learning, and a medical centre to meet demand in the increasingly populated main trade area, which is a healthy 100,000 people.
Peri Macdonald, Executive General Manager – Retail, Frasers Property Australia says since embarking on the Living Building Challenge™ journey, many lessons have been learned and shared within the industry and through the supply chain.
“One of the early lessons we learned from the Burwood Brickworks experience is that the current planning framework is not equipped to support or encourage a development like this. We believe there is scope for local and state government planning frameworks to provide incentives for developers to undertake these types of forward-thinking projects,” says Mr Macdonald.
“Even a commitment from planning authorities to assess the permit application within a more reasonable or accelerated timeframe would encourage more progressive and aspirational projects in their jurisdictions.
“Fortunately, we have a number of progressive partners working with us to deliver this world-first project and we’ve attracted a terrific group of like-minded tenants who have used the principles of the Living Building Challenge™ to further shape and improve their business models.
“But creating a shopping centre that will deliver a net positive environmental outcome to the site it occupies has been a real challenge, especially in the context of tough market conditions for retail. One of the biggest challenges has been the requirement for all shop designs and fitouts to comply with the red list of materials under the Living Building Challenge™, putting pressure on tenants’ costs and programs.
“Notwithstanding this, against the general malaise in the retail sector, our tenants have elevated their fitouts and operations in recognition of what’s at stake. We hope Burwood Brickworks is a catalyst to shift the paradigm of the value opportunities available from sustainable development, to supplement the social and environmental benefits the centre will deliver.
“While there have been additional costs and program impacts, the industry will learn from this and these costs and program impacts will normalise.
“It’s important for our customers, being our tenants, and their customers as well. The innovations at Burwood Brickworks will translate to greater foot traffic and the longevity of the asset, through a higher conversion of the available retail spend,” says Mr Macdonald.
The shopping centre will generate more energy than it consumes on an annual basis, retain and recycle all the water it uses and dedicate 20% of its site footprint for food growing, among many other sustainable initiatives.
A 1MW solar array will provide approximately 40 per cent of the shopping centre’s total energy needs, with the surplus supply being procured from off-site solar and wind farms, to generate 105 per cent of the energy required for the building and deliver a net positive energy outcome.
Jack Davis, Senior Development Manager, Frasers Property Australia says the human experience has been a guiding principle for the centre’s creation – and this extends to those who operate it as well as those who visit.
“For the centre to operate as we envisage, delivering a net positive or regenerative ecosystem, we need to foster a unified and collaborative environment encompassing the project team, our tenants and ultimately our shoppers,” says Mr Davis.
“Initiatives like a predominately naturally ventilated mall via operable windows in the sawtooth roof, re-using all water within the building and generating almost half of the energy needs from the rooftop solar, all imply an outgoings saving.
“However, in reality each of these initiatives require human maintenance, so the utility savings are in part offset by the labour component to keep them running efficiently.
“Nevertheless, we believe that designing a more comfortable centre, with access to an abundance of natural light, fresh air and living greenery, while connecting our occupants on a visceral level through texture, scents and sounds, will increase the dwell time and frequency of visitation, ensuring our retailers are more productive and our shoppers enjoy a positive experience.”
The shopping centre has been designed by Melbourne-based NH Architecture, with creative input from North Melbourne-based Russell & George and environmental pioneer Joost Bakker. Hacer Group were appointed as Principal Contractor to ensure the construction meets the rigorous design requirements that the Living Building Challenge™ demands.
In addition to seeking Living Building Challenge™ certification, Frasers Property has received a 6 Star Green Star Design & As Built v1.1 (Design Review) rating for its shopping centre at Burwood Brickworks from the Green Building Council of Australia.
Retailers interested in a tenancy at Burwood Brickworks should call Frasers Property on 13 38 38 or visit www.frasersproperty.com.au/Retail/VIC/Burwood-Brickworks/Register.
FOR MEDIA QUERIES, PLEASE CONTACT: