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Melbourne's Pentridge Prison set to transform local retail

As transformation of the iconic Pentridge redevelopment nears completion, the project is focusing on hyperlocal leasing to create a one-of-a-kind retail hub in Melbourne’s north and support some of the city’s most esteemed small businesses.

The Pentridge mixed-use redevelopment is a unique project located in one of Melbourne’s most rapidly gentrifying inner-northern suburbs, Coburg.

Stage 1 of the redevelopment, which is schedule to open Q4 2020, features a heritage-fronted and architecturally-designed public piazza, a 2,000sqm Ritchies Fine Food and Wine Merchants, a 15-screen Palace Cinema, 20-25 specialty stores and 500 secure underground car parks. Future stages will also include a 4-star Adina Hotel, office towers and 1,000+ residential units.

The Pentridge retail leasing strategy, led by Colliers' Mark Reid on behalf of developer Shayher Group, does not cater for a (mainstream) National brand, with the group opting to support smaller retailers in creating a unique proposition in line with the setting it’s built within.

A survey of retail investors conducted by Colliers' found tenants in the sectors of café and restaurant, fashion and footwear, beauty services and cinema and entertainment were the most in need of rent relief due to COVID-19.

There has been significant disruption within the retail industry however, several sectors have seen growth as represented by Household Goods with 22.55% growth and Food with a growth of 16.8%. While some other discretionary categories have experienced falls, there has been a significant level of stimulus pumped into the economy during the June and September quarters. Much of this has been saved to date, but we can expect a significant recovery in household consumption during the December quarter.

Colliers' strategy to support local businesses will deliver quality independent retailers to the iconic Coburg location, transforming it into a thriving hub with unmatched flair.

Mark Reid, Manager, Retail Leasing at Colliers said, “Pentridge will become the focal point for the Coburg community, where locals and visitors gravitate daily for their lifestyle needs. The main trade area population is forecast to reach 186,400 people by the year 2026, with annual expenditure within this area expected to be $3.4billion.

“The Pentridge retail precinct was designed to thrive as a true destination, with intimate and open retail spaces on the ground floor enabling a vibrant restaurant, café and bar culture. The vision for the retail precinct, which has flowed through to our leasing strategy, was to partner only with iconic local brands. 

“Pentridge is a unique proposition, we purposefully chose to move away from the replication of the retail you see in most  shopping centre locations around Melbourne. Emulating the boutique nature of the two anchors has allowed us to attract some of the most exciting operators and brands in the market.

“With over 80 per cent of the retail space already pre-committed, we anticipate that Pentridge will become Melbourne’s most compelling retail precinct for local, national and international discovery,” Mr. Reid said.

Pentridge offers something entirely new to Coburg in the form of a cohesive tenancy mix comprising of complementary food, dining and lifestyle operators.

“With Palace Cinemas, Adina Hotel, and Ritchies Fine Food and Wine Merchants committed to its unique vision, retailers have an unprecedented opportunity to fill the last remaining tenancies of this iconic heritage site,” Mr Reid said.

“Many retailers have already capitalised on the opportunity to secure a space within the iconic destination that will attract local Melbournians as well as visitors from interstate.

“The bluestone walls and guard towers of Pentridge are a quintessential part of Melbourne’s story and are now being re-envisioned as a unique local meeting place of culture, commerce and creativity.

“Pentridge is set to become an economically sustainable community seeking a better way to live, eat and shop together, with a blend of intimate and open spaces, laneways and landscaping,” Mr Reid said.

Mela Patisserie owner Mathew Chila is no stranger to creating some of the finest hand-made desserts and bakery items in Melbourne. He recently left his position as Sous Chef at Surrey Hills’ renowned Zimt Patisserie to open his own patisserie at Pentridge.

“Coburg is renowned for this historical gem and watching the revitalisation’s progress is very exciting,” Mr Chila said.

“Speaking as a local resident, the high calibre retail and dining precinct coupled with the attraction of Pentridge’s historical elements will promote our suburb as an essential Melbourne destination.

“This is something that Coburg and the inner north is screaming out for. It is going to attract a lot of organic foot traffic and fits perfectly into the culture of independent grocers and retailers that is so important to the region.”

Ritchies Stores National Marketing General Manager Jarrod Swaine said the company was excited to open their first store in metropolitan Melbourne, and 49th in Victoria, at the Pentridge redevelopment.

“We have a few stores around the periphery of Melbourne but nothing this close to this city,” Mr Swaine said.

“We are really looking forward to the experience. It’s an exciting time in retail, with so much diversity of product and the willingness of shoppers to try different things, allowing us to introduce so many new products and concepts that we would never have considered even 10 years ago.”

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Daniel Paul




I'm a Manager in retail agency for existing and development shopping centres along with projects across Victoria. My understanding of the retail market within shopping centres and the CBD allows me to source the right tenants for specific properties and projects.

·         Retail Lease negotiation and transaction

·         Shopping Centre, vacant shop and kiosk leasing, retail media

·         Network development and relationship management

·         Marketing campaign strategy and implementation



·         Chadstone Shopping Centre

·         Emporium Shopping Centre

·         Bayside Shopping Centre

·         Rundle Place

·         Greensborough Plaza

·         Forest Hill Chase

·         DFO South Wharf

·         DFO Essendon

·         DFO Moorabbin

·         Brimbank Shopping Centre

·         Woodlea Town Centre

·         Opalia Shopping Centre

·         Harpley Town Centre

·         Rockbank Town Centre



I extensive retail leasing experience working across Super Regional, Major Regional, Regional Shopping Centres and Outlet Centres over the last 5 years with Vicinity and Jones Lang Lasalle.

My experience has allowed me to form excellent relationships with tenants to build brand exposure and grow business revenue.

With a strong interest in the retail market I'm always seeking to learn more about the current market in order to find the best use for a retail property.


·         Sutton Uggs

·         La Belle Miette

·         Novo Shoes

·         Origani

·         Telstra

·         Optus

·         ANZ

·         Golden Green

·         Zagame

·         Tag Heuer

·         Memory Block

·         Tesla

·         Smiggle

·         Endota Spa

·         Smart Healthcare

·         Mr & Mrs Jones / Sunnylife

·         Keeki K

·         La Petite Creperie

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