QICGRE’s new town centre development, Merrifield City, opened its doors in Melbourne’s outer north this week, marking a major milestone for the site and heralding a new era of convenience for residents.
Set on the 900-hectare Merrifield development site in Melbourne’s booming northern corridor, Victoria’s largest mixed-use masterplanned community this week welcomed the first stage of its new retail and lifestyle hub, Merrifield City, just in time for the busy Christmas trading period.
A joint venture with Merrifield developers MAB Corporation and Gibson Property Corporation, the centre is part of a multi-year vision for a bustling town centre destination that artfully combines shopping, dining, civic and cultural experiences.
Daryl Stubbings, QICGRE’s Director – Australian Investment Management, says that the launch of the new shopping precinct, which opened as scheduled despite the challenge of this year’s extensive Covid-related disruptions, marks a significant achievement for QICGRE.
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“We are proud to be able to deliver this new precinct on time, as promised,” says Stubbings. “And to do so with over 95 per cent of the centre’s tenancies leased illustrates the high demand we’ve seen from retailers wanting to be a part of this exciting new project and to play a role in the evolution of this dynamic, fast-growing community.”
Stubbings adds that, along with providing much-needed convenience and lifestyle opportunities for residents, the project – QICGRE’s seventh Victorian centre – represents a boon for local employment. The initial phase of the development has generated over 1000 construction jobs and another 300 for ongoing retail personnel, and with more development afoot, that’s just the beginning.
“Over the next few years, the centre will evolve into a major retail and lifestyle hub for the region, offering a range of shopping, dining, civic and cultural experiences for this highly engaged and rapidly expanding community. This is a landmark moment for the development, and we are extremely pleased to see Merrifield City delivered in time for Christmas.”
Along with the highly anticipated arrival of Coles and Liquorland, this week also saw the opening of eight specialty operators, with beloved national brands such as Ferguson Plarre Bakehouses sitting alongside local independents such as Indian grocery chain Quality Food Store and new lifestyle services including a hairdresser. A second wave of retailer openings, which will include Chemist Warehouse, is slated for early 2021. Upon completion of this first chapter, 25 carefully selected retail partners are set to call Merrifield City home.
Opening day celebrations featured a Welcome to Country ceremony with local Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Traditional Owners, with Mayor of Hume Joseph Haweil cutting the ribbon to allow eager shoppers into their new full-line supermarket.
Haweil said that with a predicted 40,000 new residents set to call the region home over the next 20 years, infrastructure and services such as Merrifield City shopping centre will be critical. “When it comes to services, nothing can be more important than a supermarket that is close to home for the people who live in this area.” He closed by saying he looks forward to many more ribbon-cutting events in coming years as Merrifield City progresses to become the largest retail centre in Melbourne’s outer north.
Considering the next nearest shopping precinct is currently over 10 kilometres away, Merrifield City is due to play a vital role in the suburb’s liveability, providing everyday essentials and complementary services to its burgeoning population. Adding to the convenience, the centre will offer parking for 350 cars, ably serving residents along with staff and visitors from the neighbouring Merrifield Business Park.
Matthew Planner, General Manager Communities at MAB Corporation, added: “Together with around 5,000 Merrifield residents and workers, we are beyond thrilled to welcome this vital community hub in time for Christmas. There is no doubt that Merrifield City will play an integral role in truly progressing this new city in Melbourne’s north while providing the local community with hyper-convenient access to everyday goods and engaging leisure experiences.”