Sydney’s night-time economy has been given a massive boost with the announcement that the Australian-born entertainment and video games powerhouse, Fortress, is set to open one of the largest leisure venues in the Southern Hemisphere at Central Park Mall on Broadway.
The interactive games sector was estimated to be worth $3.4 billion in Australia in 2020, increasing to $4.9 billion by 2025. Scheduled to open for business next summer, with landlord works due to begin this month, Fortress Sydney will be a unique hospitality and entertainment venue for all ages.
Similar to Fortress Melbourne, which opened in 2020, at Vicinity’s Emporium Melbourne, the Sydney facility will have a 1000-person capacity and be a licensed venue with a full-service restaurant as well as bar food offerings. It will feature video games of all genres in a large arcade, a dedicated zone with scores of state-of-the-art PCs, a library of board and card games and a 200-seat arena and stage to host both amateur and professional esports tournaments with an audience.
Fortius Funds Management purchased Central Park Mall from Frasers Property Group in October 2019, and the arrival of Fortress Sydney will see the redevelopment of 3,000m2 of existing retail space, just under a fifth of the 16,250m2 retail space available in the Mall. With Fortius’ multimillion-dollar development investment, Fortress Sydney will be an alternative entertainment option for families and gamers of all levels, looking for a different leisure experience not yet on offer in the city.
Fortius’ CEO Sam Sproats said the partnership with Fortress would not only transform Central Park Mall but would also re-activate a thriving night-time economy in the entire Central Park/Broadway precinct.
“We are incredibly excited to be partnering with such a dynamic next-generation business in Fortress, and this exciting deal underpins our vision to reimagine urban retail,” he said. “We look forward to announcing further leasing deals with other adjacent operators in the next few months.”
Fortress CEO and Co-Founder Jon Satterley said when Fortress started four years ago, it was always planned for more than one flagship.
“Melbourne was our first – you might call it prototype. Fortress Sydney will be the jewel in our crown. It will be an awe-inspiring new ‘home of games’ – the epitome of everything we have worked towards. The ultimate statement in live games culture entertainment,” he said.
“A fantasy-themed Tavern, based on Fortress’s unique character lore, an incredibly competitive and esports games arena featuring a mezzanine/VIP level, another sci-fi inspired bar, arcades, PC gaming zone with the highest spec Alienware rigs, private party booths, amazing food and drinks brought to your table.
“Our Sydney friends and fans of Fortress have been begging us to bring the Flagship experience to their beautiful city. Well, here we come!”
The 15-year lease was brokered by Colliers and Director of Retail Michael Tuck shared his excitement in securing the Fortress Sydney flagship on behalf of Fortius.
“The deal demonstrates the evolving diversity in the retail landscape and highlights the demand for entertainment technology venues, which has exceptional growth opportunities in the international consumer market and strong synergies with existing retail precincts.
“As landlords look to invest in opportunities to bridge the gap between online and bricks-and-mortar retailing, we will see more of these types of leasing deals being negotiated,” he said.
Owned by Fortius Funds Management and SC Capital Partners on behalf of its RECAP Fund series, Central Park Mall is already home to multiple retail outlets, restaurants, cafés and a cinema complex.