Colliers International facilitates major new tenant to join two-level retail precinct
Palace Cinemas will open a 15-screen cinema within the iconic walls of Pentridge as a part of developer Shayher Group’s cultural transformation of the historic prison site.
In a deal negotiated by Colliers International’s Mike Crittenden, the new 1,100-seat Palace Cinema will be located within a 3,650sqm boutique shopping precinct envisaged in the site’s masterplan.
A key feature of the boutique retail precinct, the cinema will feature an environmentally sustainable design with a village feel and will be a natural addition to Palace’s other cinema in Melbourne’s north, the solar-powered Palace Westgarth in Northcote.
Construction on the two-level retail precinct is expected to begin in 2017 and completed in 2019. The cinema is expected to open in mid-2019.
Mr Crittenden said alongside the Palace Cinema, the total 6.5ha site would comprise circa 1,500 apartments, around 12,000sqm of retail and a 120-room hotel and serviced apartment complex operated by Adina Hotel.
“We are running a strategic leasing campaign directly targeting quality retailers who will collectively create a point of difference in the local precinct, attracting customers, patrons and tourists from all over Melbourne, which will further enhance the profile of Coburg,” Mr Crittenden said.
“We are looking to introduce to this historic site a neighbourhood shopping centre, day care centre, microbrewery or pub and a range of piazza dining options."
Shayher Group project spokesman Anthony Goh said Palace Cinemas would play an important role in establishing a new, stylish urban village that celebrates the site’s heritage and brings the local community together.
“Offering the best in mainstream and contemporary international films, Australia’s leading boutique cinema group Palace Cinemas is a natural alignment for the Pentridge retail precinct,” Mr Goh said. “Our vision for Pentridge is to create a vibrant, well-designed urban village that breathes new life into this historical asset, transforming it from one of Australia’s most prominent jails into a new community hub complete with retail, housing, community areas and open public spaces.
“We want to celebrate and retain the rich historical elements of Pentridge by creating an authentic place that Melbourne’s arts, community, cultural and boutique business groups want to be associated with."
With the Coburg community well known as multicultural, arts-minded and environmentally conscious, Palace Cinemas CEO Benjamin Zeccola hopes the distinct offering of its newest cinema will be an exciting contribution to the area.
“My family’s vision for Palace on Champ Street in Coburg is to create a warm, vibrant, film, arts, and hospitality hub, which will unite cinema lovers of all ages and cultural backgrounds,” Mr Zeccola said.
Showing the best of quality mainstream and new release films, Palace Cinemas will also bring its trademark and much-loved collection of international film festivals to the precinct, delivering the best of contemporary cinema from Italy, Spain, and France, among other countries.
A carefully curated program of stage-to-screen content from the world’s foremost dance and theatre companies, including Covent Garden, La Scala, Bolshoi Ballet, Opera D’Italia and National Theatre, will also feature.
Shayher Group announced in May that it intends to reactivate the heritage buildings around the heart of the precinct – the piazza – located in the south-east corner of the site. This would act as a centralised public hub to shop, eat and socialise in and would be economically self-sustainable.
The Pentridge site was purchased by Shayher Group in 2013 after the site’s masterplan was finalised and incorporated in February 2009 following an extensive consultation led by the State Government.
In August, Shayher Group announced TFE Hotels will operate an Adina Apartment Hotel on the site. Designed by Cox Architecture, the 120-apartment hotel aims to seamlessly blend contemporary architectural design with the property’s distinct and remarkable heritage.
Shayher Group intends to spend around $2million to restore the former jail’s seven iconic guard towers as part of several years of heritage restoration works and archaeological surveys. Pentridge was the largest prison complex constructed in Victoria in the 19th century.