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Opening of Coles supermarket at Melbourne’s newest and most innovative street based town centre – University Hill


Opening of Coles supermarket at Melbourne’s newest and most innovative street based town centre – University Hill

The first stage of MAB Corporation’s University Hill Town centre commenced trading today with the opening of the Coles supermarket which is to be followed by a range of street based specialty retailers in June and the massive Brand Junction brand outlet centre now under way for a 2008 opening.

Coles University Hill, the retail giants latest full line supermarket opened this morning to a crowd of local residents eagerly anticipating the opening day specials as the roller shutters were opening for the very first time.

The Coles supermarket when joined by the 28 specialty stores in the street-based environment will give residents of Melbourne’s north their first glimpse of University Hill, the largest truly mixed use urban infill development to occur outside of an Australian CBD.

“University Hill offers the best aspects of urban living with convenient access for the local community with the provision of on street parking, a diversity of unique retailers, an attractive tree lined street scape in a state-of-the-art community environment. The lifestyle of today’s consumer has been changing with preferences for more community based shopping precincts rather than the impersonal regional and suburban shopping centre’s which have tended to overlook the urban environment and social needs of the local community, ” MAB Corporation Senior Retail Development Manager, Mr. Mark O’Connell said.

“For the first time, residents of this area will now be able to enjoy what many inner urban residents have enjoyed but without the congestion,” MAB Corporation Senior Retail Development Manager, Mr. Mark O’Connell said.

Coles were one of the first retailers to sign up at University Hill and were excited by the unique urban design and the opportunity to become involved in such an innovative mixed use development in one of Melbourne’s fastest growing growth corridor.

MAB’s commitment to the best urban design and architectural practices has attracted a diverse range of retailers to meet the needs of University Hill’s local community. The prior owners of the iconic Leo’s Spaghetti bar in St Kilda will open Azurea café bar restaurant in the heart of the town centre in June.

The striking contemporary architecture of the Azurea building was designed by i2c Design, MAB’s retail architect for the Town Centre. Mr Brian Jende the managing director of i2c Design confirms that “no client has inspired such freedom to innovate as MAB have in creating such an iconic building and town centre that we hope will be enjoyed by the University Hill business park and residential customers as well as the surrounding community for many years”

The specialty stores of the town centre cover an array of tastes from providores of genuine homemade Italian pastas and fresh coffee beans roasted daily by possibly Melbourne’s first coffee grinder to open for many years, outside of Lygon street and inner city locales, at Santagollo Foods and the gourmet antipasto offerings of Cerezo deli, to artisan Sushi and shashimi creations from Uni Japanese Cuisine and the diversity of University Hill’s two specialist bakers Degani Bakery Café and Top Bakery, both offering bread and pastries with cultural influences to satisfy the local community.

Within the town centre consumers can enjoy the convenient service offerings of a department store size Priceline Pharmacy, Medical Centre, Westpac bank, Sixstraight News & Lotto, Express Cuts, Key cutting & watch repairs and florist to name a few.

University Hill is located just 18 kilometres north of the Melbourne CBD, close to RMIT and La Trobe Universities, the airport at the intersection of Plenty road and the Metropolitan ring road. The Town Centre is expected to service a catchment population, within a 20 minute drive time, of approximately 614,000 people or more than 15% of Melbourne’s population and is expected to employ up to 1,400 people

This initial stage of the town centre precinct is the first of five stages scheduled to open between now and 2009.

In 2008 the recently commenced Fashion and Homewares precinct of Brand Junction, a premium brand outlet centre with more than 75 stores offering over 90 big brands will open it’s doors.

An entire precinct dedicated to Australia’s first fully planned “Health and Well being precinct” incorporating a major health club, child care centre and medical specialists and community facilities will also open next year.

In 2009 the proposed Entertainment precinct incorporating a boutique cinema, open air piazza with bars, restaurants, specialty stores and the yet to be revealed fifth retail precinct is planned.

MAB Corporation’s 104 hectare University Hill development in the City of Whittlesea is set to take planned communities to a new level in Australia. Five distinct usages have been integrated to deliver one coherent community: retail, lifestyle, business, community and environment.

Already the recipient of industry awards for excellence from the Planning Institute of Australia and the Landscape Institute of Australia, the University Hill development is an innovative blueprint for future communities.