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Stockland Wetherill Park transformation

Stockland Wetherill Park – a community curated centre

The transformation of Stockland Wetherill Park received two wins at the 2018 PCA / Rider Levett Bucknall Innovation & Excellence awards, with the centre being named both Australia’s Best Shopping Centre Development and Best Sustainable Development – Existing Buildings.

Stockland Wetherill Park’s $228 million transformation is a reflection not only of our commitment to delivering retail centres that matter to our customers and our communities – but also our focus on creating centres that embrace health and wellbeing, human connection and lead the way in sustainability.

First developed in 1983, the centre’s most recent two-staged redevelopment was completed in December 2015, with the refurbishment of the fresh food precinct completed in September 2016.

The redevelopment increased retail space by 27%, introduced an 800-seat food court, and more than doubled the fresh food and casual dining offerings. With more than 70,000m2 of GLA, Stockland Wetherill Park is the leading retail offering in the area. The activated casual dining precinct and greater entertainment offerings have increased visitor numbers significantly, at approximately 7.6 million annually.

Key to the successful redevelopment was ensuring that we were responding to the customers’ needs, recognising and maintaining the strengths of the centre, and identifying and unlocking opportunities while embracing and celebrating the centre’s iconic history.

The redevelopment was centred on the idea of the ‘festival’ to recognise and celebrate the diverse cultural community (over 70 languages are spoken in the local area) and to deliver a place that would enable people to come together and build on the strength of pride that exists in the community.

Commenting on the win, PCA chief executive Ken Morrison said, “Stockland successfully transformed a 35-year-old building into an active retail, dining and entertainment centrepiece. “Stockland’s strategy reflects customers’ growing interest in fresh food, casual dining and entertainment. This innovative approach shows how retailers can not only survive but also thrive in the digital age.”

Rider Levett Bucknall’s Managing Director NSW, Matthew Harris, emphasised that the level of architectural detail, the mix of retailers and the vibrancy of the resulting development all support a socially dynamic local neighbourhood.

Innovation in sustainability
The centre’s win for Best Sustainable Development – Existing Building recognises our innovation in the application of sustainability practices to reduce the centre’s environmental footprint.

“Social sustainability is also a key component of the centre. Stockland’s innovative strategy has created shared value and is a model for other shopping centres,” said Morrison

Our sustainability strategy focuses on how we can balance social, environmental and economic outcomes for all our stakeholders and the environment. We’re always looking for smarter and more efficient ways to design, develop and operate our town centres to ensure they touch the environment lightly and incorporate new technology and innovations to ensure the long-term success of our centres. Stockland Wetherill Park has a 5-star Green Star (Retail Centre v1) As Built rating, the highest rating so far in a Stockland retail development.

General Manager Sustainability and Corporate Procurement, Davina Rooney says: “Our commitment to Green Star is very much a compass for the project team to design a centre that will achieve superior environmental performance and meet key eco-efficiency targets. At Stockland Wetherill Park, there has been a strong focus on energy, water, waste and indoor environment quality.

“We’ve very proud of the world-leading sustainability and energy efficiency initiatives at Wetherill Park including a 925kW solar PV installation, which is part of Stockland’s broader commitment to building a network of large scale solar power stations across its retail portfolio nationally. We work with all our tenants to educate them on the opportunities that sustainable design can unlock, including the financial payback and future proofing of the asset against rising utility costs.”

Today, we own and operate the most Green Star (Design and As Built) rated retail town centres in the country. We were the first Australian property company to have our retail portfolio rated under the Green Star – Performance rating tool. We’re also proud to be the global industry leader and Gold Class Award winner in the World Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the eighth consecutive year. And we are the sector leader (Diversified Property) on the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) and maintain our listing on the FTSE4Good Index.

A community curated centre, Stockland Wetherill Park’s transformation into a vibrant centre with a modern, sophisticated design and leading edge fresh food offerings has really been welcomed by the community. We have created retail amenity, employment opportunities and a place for the community now and into the future. We have worked hard to ensure that the centre makes a positive difference to our customers’ lives by providing memorable experiences when they visit.

The centre responds to both retailer and customer expectations with a more personalised, comprehensive and exciting retail experience. Our vision was to deliver a vibrant and economically prosperous social hub – a place for people – and we are thrilled to be recognised by these awards.

About the author

Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson is National Sustainability at Stockland. Stockland has been identified as a global leader for its actions and strategies in response to climate change and has been awarded a position on the Climate A List by CDP and recognised as the Regional Sector Leader for Diversified Property Companies on the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB).

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