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Sydney’s Hill District is to get a revamped shopping centre complete with a new hotel, commercial office tower and enlarged public spaces under a proposed $568 million project by the owner, Queensland Investment Corp.
It will form part of the next development phase at Castle Towers in Sydney’s north-west, where QIC has lodged
a planning application for its newest project, The Village.
The plans include a three-level three retail space that will see a mix of more than 70 new homegrown designers and international labels. There is also a 12-storey A-grade commercial building, dubbed 2 Castle Street, which is the first of its type to be built in the area, all designed by architecture firm BVN.
Render of the proposed project The Village at QIC’s Castle Towers precinct in the Hills District.Credit: Designed by Woods Bagot and BVN
Given the centre’s proximity between central Sydney and the Blue Mountains with a growing population, QIC have also lodged an application for an application that includes a 200-plus room “lifestyle hotel”, designed by Woods Bagot.
“The shopping centre of the future will be a town centre, a place where communities can shop, eat, meet as well as play, work and live.”
Castle Towers first opened in 1982 and as owners QIC’s real estate arm undertook a $180 million expansion which opened in December 2019. It attracts more than 18 million visits each year with current moving average turnover (MAT) sales of $865 million, and specialty MAT sales of $13.595 per square metre, according to the latest Big Guns data.
QIC predicts the total trade area spend to grow from $6.6 billion to about $12 billion during the next 10 years. QIC is the Queensland government’s investment company, founded in 1991 to oversee the long-term investment responsibilities of the government.
QIC real estate’s managing director Michael O’Brien said recently that the shopping centre of the future will be a town centre – “a place where communities can shop, eat, meet as well as play, work and live”.
Writing in the Shopping Centre News’ Big Guns industry magazine, O’Brien said QIC is executing on its long-held investment strategy to evolve its malls through a staged mixed-use development pipeline.
“We believe town centres should be individually tailored to the unique needs of the communities they serve, offering the convenience, accessibility, connectivity and amenability of a city,” O’Brien wrote.
Render of The Village at QIC’s Castle Towers precinct in the Hills District.Credit: Designed by Woods Bagot and BVN
QIC has identified its assets of Eastland, Robina Town Centre, Canberra Centre, Castle Towers and Watergardens for this multi-use development.
QIC investment general manager, Matthew James called the plan a “bold new chapter” for Castle Hill, which will deliver new ways to live, work and play.
“The evolution of Castle Towers into a vibrant, multifaceted urban hub is an example of how we’re bringing QIC’s town centre vision to life,” James said.
He added that the long-term masterplan for Castle Towers is responding to the growing population in the area and will integrate additional sustainability-led developments over coming years.
Rounding out The Village’s offer will be a live entertainment venue, rooftop garden and other greenery filled public spaces. The hotel and future office building are forecast to draw more than 2,000 combined workers daily, while an additional 200-plus local jobs will also be created during the construction phase.
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