QICGRE unveiled its game-changing $180m Castle Towers expansion yesterday, opening the doors to a vibrant contemporary marketplace and food court linked by pedestrian tunnel to Castle Hill metro station. The highly anticipated launch of north-west Sydney’s newest food and lifestyle hub was attended by dignitaries from local and state government, as well as thousands of local residents.
In his opening address, Managing Director Michael O’Brien touched on QICGRE’s long-term vision for Castle Towers as a thriving microcity that serves the whole-life needs of the Hills community. “Castle Towers is not just one of Australia’s leading super regional shopping centres, it is an important community gathering place; a town centre which locals can proudly call their own,” he said. “As we approach almost three decades of ownership we continue to invest in this high-performing asset, this development representing only the first chapter in our planned transformation of Castle Towers into a multifaceted destination with evolved retail at its core.”
Delivered three months early and 100 per cent leased, the development created around 1400 jobs during construction and an additional 200 hospitality and retail jobs upon completion. O’Brien noted close collaboration with Sydney Metro, the Hills Shire Council and state government as key factors in this success. “With this centre drawing over 18 million visitors a year and sitting in the heart of one of Sydney’s most sought-after residential catchments, it made huge sense for us to work closely with Sydney Metro to deliver such connectivity with the magnificent new station,” he said.
The region’s time-strapped commuters who can now access some of Sydney’s best-loved providores and casual dining venues straight off the train or bus via what is the only direct underground link between the Northwest line and a retail-led property. The additional 4700 square metres of lettable space created by the underground development is now home to 45 category leading operators across fresh food, dining, homewares, technology and everyday services.
Designed to invite longer dwell time, the immersive marketplace features interiors by acclaimed hospitality-focused design firm Luchetti Krelle and offers a range of casual dining options catering to the tastes of the region’s growing populace.
To toast the new precinct and the arrival of around 20 new retailers, the centre will host a four-day festival-style celebration including a range of family-friendly entertainment and activities.
With yet more new retailer openings slated for early 2020 and a development application for future stages already submitted to council, QICGRE Portfolio General Manager Ian Coltman said: “Through a series of proposed developments, staged over a multi-year horizon, we will create a destination that embraces community gathering spaces and embodies the aspirations of the Hills community.”
Noting the significance of Castle Towers’ new integrated retail and transport hub to the area, the Hon. Ray Williams MP said: “Today is a culmination of two of the largest investments you’ll ever see in this area, no, in this country. This phenomenal centre is very much the heart of Castle Hill and it’s an incredible vote of confidence in this area that the Queensland Investment Corporation should invest in a place that is already such an overwhelming success.”