Kawana Shoppingworld’s latest extensions are about to come on stream. The very first shopping centre on the Sunshine Coast, its major redevelopment in 2014 saw the Mirvac centre present itself as a smart, modern, state-of-the-art retail facility. It is now poised to offer an exceptional entertainment and leisure precinct that will create a new community focal point for the region.
What makes a top performing centre the leader of the pack? What is it that places it in that position? Is it just the numbers, or the architecture? Is it the growth or even the future potential? The more you analyse, the more you conclude that it’s a combination of all of these critical elements.
Mirvac’s Kawana Shoppingworld is a top performing centre; it’s a story of growth and a quick look at how it’s performed over the past few years sets the tone.
Fifteen years ago, in 2003, Kawana Shoppingworld had an annual turnover (MAT) of some $185 million; its GLA was about 30,000m2 and its MAT/m2 traded at $6,606/m2. By 2016, just as work began on its current expansion, its GLA had expanded to 38,000m2 and its MAT had grown to $327.4 million, resulting in an MAT/m2 in excess of $9,000.
In terms of Little Gun MAT, Kawana Shoppingworld is ranked the third highest-performing centre in Australia and the number 2 Little Gun in Queensland. And now it’s poised for further growth – perhaps the highest in its history.
For those of us major city dwellers to the south – Sydney and Melbourne – Queensland’s ‘Sunshine Coast’ is perhaps the most underrated region in Australia. Yes, we know the Gold Coast to the south of Brisbane but, generally, our knowledge of the Sunshine Coast is confined to Noosa, a traditional hotspot marking its northern tip.
The Sunshine Coast stretches from Noosa in the north to Caloundra and Pelican Waters in the south, a 60-kilometre coastline with some of the finest beaches in the country. Maroochydore and Mooloolaba sit in the centre and approximately six kilometres south lies Buddina, at the heart of which is Mirvac’s Kawana Shoppingworld.
It’s a vibrant, dynamic and bustling centre; busy, packed and alive. Its architecture, interiors and general presentation belie the fact that Kawana Shoppingworld was first opened in 1979.
Walk the centre and you’re presented with a modern, light and airy structure, subtly reflective of its surrounds – sunshine, sub-tropics, beaches and resort-style living.
Kawana Shoppingworld doesn’t present as a ‘Little Gun’; it’s got a Big Gun feel with the retail contributing to the illusion. Specialty shop fit-outs are state-of-the-art, the lighting is superb, window displays are enticing, amateurism and neglect are not present here. The trained eye recognises expert and astute control; this centre is managed to the highest professional standards.
It’s also got a Big Gun tenancy mix; the powerful national chains are represented in force. Sportsgirl is there, Cotton On, Factorie, Noni B, Surf Dive ’n Ski, Tarocash, Rockmans, Katies, Sussan; the list goes on. It’s the same in the accessories and jewellery categories too with Angus & Coote, Michael Hill, Prouds, Wallace Bishop and Strandbags to name but a few. Need to eat and drink? You’ll find everything from Guzman Y Gomez to McDonald’s, from Jamaica Blue to KFC and from Michel’s Patisserie to Boost Juice and everything in between! Majors include Woolworths, Big W, Coles and ALDI.
So, what’s the extension about and what is Mirvac adding to the offer? In a word, ‘entertainment’; in two words, entertainment and parking, and it’s very ‘market-driven’.
This southern sector of the Sunshine Coast is changing rapidly in terms of its demographic. Formerly it was somewhat quieter; the population had typically moved there from other parts of Queensland, as well as from NSW and Victoria. These were people seeking a quieter lifestyle, away from the hustle and bustle of major cities, on or close to the water, a warmer climate; many had already done the hard yards, now the time was theirs!
During the past ten years or so, the region has been changing; growth is a fact of life. It’s witnessed an economy that’s expanding through nearly every sector, from infrastructure to services, from tourism to industry and everything in between.
In July 2012, the Queensland Government appointed Exemplar Health consortium comprising Lendlease, Capella Capital, Siemens and Spotless to deliver the Sunshine Coast University Hospital as a public private partnership. It opened in March last year with 450 beds, which is expected to increase to 738 beds by 2021. The first teaching hospital to open in Australia for 20 years, at a cost of $1.8 billion, it has provided jobs for some 4,600 people.
The University of the Sunshine Coast opened with 524 students in 1996; it has just undergone an $81 million expansion and will have a student population of some 20,000 by 2020.
The Sunshine Coast Airport at Maroochydore is about to undergo a $4.1 billion upgrade and, for the first time, will host international flights; the work will provide jobs for some 2,230 workers. At a cost of $3.6 billion, the Sunshine Coast Light Rail project will provide work for some 9,000 individuals close to Kawana Shoppingworld, in fact in the Primary, Secondary South and Secondary North sectors of its Trade Area, which means that more than 30,000 homes will be developed over the coming years.
The Masterplan for the Maroochydore City Centre to become the new Sunshine Coast CBD details some $4.4 billion in expenditure, creating more than 15,000 jobs by 2025. There are other projects in the pipeline, too many to mention; quite simply, the growth is staggering!
This means that the demographic is changing dramatically. The Sunshine Coast is luring a much younger populace. The Australian dream – the home near the beach, the sun-drenched lifestyle, is a reality in the Sunshine Coast so the young families are joining the retirees; jobs and opportunities are boundless as the region surges forward.
Kawana Shoppingworld’s Trade Area population of 274,400 (2016) will grow to 384,790 by 2026; an increase of some 74,400 people. The average annual retail expenditure will grow from $3.6 billion to $6.1 billion in the same period to 2026.
The extensions, due for completion by the end of this year, reflect the ever-changing market demands of its trade area. The very first shopping centre on the Sunshine Coast, Kawana Shoppingworld has re-invented itself several times.
In its early days, it provided the trade area with simple shopping needs and, over the years, has expanded to include a wider range of fashion, accessories and more discretionary items. In recent times, the food and beverage offer has increased and the dining precinct now boasts a selection of casual dining options from McDonald’s and KFC to Grill’d, the Groove Train, Gelatissimo, Oliver Brown and Guzman Y Gomez.
Just opposite this F&B precinct and fully linking with it, will be the major component of the latest extensions.
The new cinema complex will be Event Cinema’s latest offering, the first in Australia of its new concept.
In total, it will present nine screens comprised of three Gold Class, two V-Max and four cinemas. Alongside will be a brand-new Planet Arcade of some 200m2.
The extensions will form one side of a newly created streetscape featuring a large food and beverage precinct. As it stands, the present centre is bounded by Point Cartwright Drive, which feeds directly into the mall, as well as the existing F&B precinct. The extensions create and form the opposite side of the street, a 50-odd metre stretch of restaurant and alfresco dining also incorporating the entrance to the cinema complex.
Timber beams sit under the glazed awnings, creating an intimate, inviting and comfortable licensed alfresco precinct. Five new restaurants; The Good Place, Lone Star, P’Nut Noodles, Peak Thai and Pomodoro will provide an experience half a notch to a notch above the present offering.
Laser-cut screening will line the precinct perimeter and timber embellished fold-down screening will protect the external seating areas. Subtle textural changes in the external flooring will differentiate the licensed seating areas from the main pedestrian thoroughfare.
Connectivity and access to the existing centre is seamless via two pedestrian crossings, one under cover; a travelator provides access to the mezzanine car park level and cinema, as well as lifts to all levels. The presentation is high quality, tasteful, smart and ensures the centre is destined to become a community focal point for the region.
On completion in December, Kawana Shoppingworld will boast about 2,100 car spaces.
Kawana Shoppingworld is convenience shopping to a ‘T’. Located on the major road, Nicklen Avenue, which leads directly on to the Sunshine Motorway, some 50,000 cars a day pass the centre. Access is easy, parking is hassle-free.
The new entertainment and leisure precinct will undoubtedly reinforce the centre as the commercial, social and community hub of the region.
Last December, Mirvac sold 50% of Kawana Shoppingworld to ISPT with the latter fully involved financially in this extension. It’s an indication of Mirvac’s overall strength in both the management and development of major shopping centres and its capacity to handle all aspects, from design through to development management, from marketing and leasing, to centre management.