Demolition to start early 2018 for Castle Towers redevelopment

02 Nov 2017

Jake McCallum, Hills Shire Times

October 31, 2017 12:47pm

 

CASTLE Towers is set to be transformed into a bustling retail village with open-air laneway shopping and direct access to the Castle Hill Metro station.

The plan is in its final stages of approval as owner, QIC prepares, to begin stage three of the redevelopment alongside Transport for NSW.

QIC revealed exclusively to the Hills Shire Times that demolition for the $1 billion stage three redevelopment of the centre will commence in early 2018.

QIC plans to increase the size of the centre by up to 80,000sq m, to a total size of more than 190,000sq m.

Centre manager Martin Ollis said QIC planned to seamlessly integrate Castle Towers with the new Metro station, with both above and below ground retail spaces.

“We are close to finalising an agreement with Transport for NSW to connect our redeveloped centre with the Metro station, integrating the redeveloped centre with key public transport infrastructure and creating a multi-mode transport hub,” Mr Ollis said.

“As part of the proposed transformation of Castle Towers, we will extend the existing level one mall to connect with a planned underground station walkway leading directly into the Metro station concourse.” 

The development included much outdoor areas including grass on the rooftops.

Mr Ollis said the stage three redevelopment will include “East Village”, which will see the demolition of existing retail spaces at the Old Castle Hill Rd entrance of the Towers for the laneway outdoor retail precinct.

“Our design scheme proposes to weave the new Castle Towers into its environment and creates a vibrant and engaging destination that seamlessly transitions from civic to retail space,” he said.

“The first stage incorporates the creation of ‘East Village’, reinventing the traditional Australian retail environment by embracing characteristics of a village or town centre.”

Mr Ollis said the approval of the development application by Hills Shire Council last year provided QIC the certainty to progress to the next phase of development planning.

Mr Ollis said QIC was preparing to issue construction tenders for the stage three development early next year, before construction work commences in mid-2018.

“This work will include the upgrade and refurbishment of parts of the existing centre together with substantial demolition and excavation works,” he said.

Mr Ollis said QIC had a vision to extend the Piazza restaurant precinct’s appeal beyond traditional shopping centre trading hours to contribute to the region’s “night-time economy”.

“The revitalisation of the current Piazza restaurant precinct is also proposed to take place in the first stage of the development and will bring a host of nationally recognised food retailers to the precinct as well as the hugely popular entertainment concepts, Strike Bowling and Holey Moley,” he said.

Mr Ollis said a key priority of the redevelopment will be to minimise the impact of the proposed development on customers, retailers and neighbours.

“We work closely with all our retailers, and will continue to do so throughout the planning process as we reach key milestones,” he said.

A QIC spokesman said plans for a civic, entertainment hub surrounding the Castle Hill Public School heritage precinct were also being assessed in plans for the stage three redevelopment of the centre, creating a “destination that embraces community gathering spaces which foster social interaction and human connection”. 

The redevelopment is also planned to deliver significantly improved car parking facilities, which will increase the centre’s capacity to more than 8000 vehicles, and improve access and circulation through the introduction of new entry and exit points from the upgraded Showground Rd and Pennant St.

 Almost $60 million has already been committed by QIC for preparatory works for the redevelopment.

KMART TO RELOCATE IN TOWERS

KMART lovers rejoice — the discount department store with a cult-like following has secured a new home inside Castle Towers, under stage three redevelopment plans revealed this week.

A spokesman for Castle Towers owners, Queensland Investment Corporation, revealed to the Hills Shire Times that Kmart would relocate to level one, underneath Myer, as part of the urban renewal program at the centre, which is slated to begin in early 2018 

Myer is in the process of consolidating its store to levels two and three, with work expected to be completed by mid-2018, when Myer will hand the space back to centre management.

In March last year, a QIC spokesman said the company was working to secure the necessary approvals from council for the relocation of the department chain, following media reports suggested the store would close for the duration of the redevelopment.

“Our development application includes a proposal to relocate Kmart as part of the centre’s significant transformation,” the spokesman said.

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