ONE of Australia’s premier cultural boulevards is undergoing a $100million makeover to create a hub for high-end retailers.
The 600-metre precinct on the south side of the historic North Terrace in Adelaide, South Australia, is home to beautiful but neglected buildings that reflect the sandstone museums and art galleries across the road.
Anchoring the plan is the soon-to-be-open new headquarters and retail space of Australian Fashion Labels.
The global fashion company will open a retail outlet for one of its leading brands TY-LR by April 2016 on the ground floor of heritage building Kelvin House, Adelaide’s first Art Deco style building built in 1925 as an office for the Adelaide Electric Supply Company.
The South Australian fashion house will also move its global headquarters into the seven-storey building, which is undergoing an $11 million refurbishment.
“It’s an amazing retail space, it’s got six-metre ceilings, it’s a 1920s building that’s been fully renovated over the last 12 months so it’s brand new inside and it’s a very majestic space,” Australian Fashion Labels Managing Director Dean Flintoft said.
Founded in Adelaide by Flintoft and his wife Melanie in 2007, Australian Fashion Labels now has seven brands and more than 3000 stockists worldwide. It will maintain its bricks and mortar BNKR outlet in Rundle Mall when the TY-LR flagship store opens and will also open a BNKR outlet in Los Angeles in March 2016.
The Adelaide Fashion Labels refurbishment is one of several approved developments on the southern side of North Terrace in the pipeline.
Invest Adelaide spokesman Patrick Robinson said a luxury retail strip on North Terrace would create new investment opportunities in Adelaide and strengthen the City’s retail sector.
Other developments include the 21-storey Urbanest student accommodation building next door to Australian Fashion Labels, the 19-storey Catcon residential tower above the heritage listed 1878 G&R Wills & Co building, the 21-storey Queen Adelaide Club development and a 15-storey Gawler Chambers commercial tower above the heritage listed former headquarters of the South Australia Company.
All of the developments are set to include retail tenancies on the lower floors.
The northern side of North Terrace, between King William and Pulteney streets is home to Adelaide’s sandstone sentinels such as the State Library, museum, art gallery and the University of Adelaide.
The boulevard, one of the four wide terraces that form the edge of the colonial planned city, overlooks parkland and is reminiscent of how buildings in Manhattan frame the city’s parks and squares.
Flintoft is heading up the Central North Terrace Working Group, which includes precinct property owners and representatives from the State Government and City of Adelaide.
The group is pushing to create a high-end retail hub on the strip and will next meet in April to further the plan.
“If you look at the northern side of North Terrace – it’s magnificent – you’ve got beautiful buildings and the streetscape looks amazing, it’s a premier boulevard,” Flintoft said.
“It’s a beautiful wide street and it’s the best address in Adelaide really. If we can turn it into a high-end retail precinct I think it will be great for tourists, for locals and the state in general.”
A handful of high-end retailers already have outlets between King William and Pulteney streets including Tiffany, Max Mara and David Jones.
“We want to continue that trend along North Terrace,” Flintoft said.
City of Adelaide Retail Strategy Senior Advisor David West said the central section of North Terrace, located between Rundle Mall and the Riverbank precinct, was an ideal location for attracting high-end retailer investment in Adelaide.
“It gives them high foot traffic whilst also maintaining exclusivity,” he said.
West said creating a website presence, targeting potential investors directly and drawing up a leasing document were the short-term priorities for the Central North Terrace Working Group.
“Retail development does take time but North Terrace is definitely a location that will work for high end luxury retail spaces.”
“The vision of what North Terrace will look like is very different to what we are doing in the rest of the city’s retail sector. It’s a totally different market we’re aiming for – it’s the Louis Vuittons and Chanels of the retail world. We hope these will be just some of the luxury brands on North Terrace in the future.”