Vicinity Centres, Colonnades Lower Level Upgrade

Colonnades Lower Level Upgrade
Vicinity Centres
Design & Construct
$8.6 Million

The refurbishment of the Colonnades retail site lower-ground floor, including approximately 3,000m2 of mall space and 7,000m2 of tenancies, was successfully delivered in a live environment with businesses and consumers continuing their daily business throughout the build.

Works involved widening the mall space, replacing existing travellator, removal of existing escalators and passenger lifts and the installation of new goods and passenger lifts. A notable project feature was the interior design pack and external commissioned artwork, that has received positive community feedback.

The Sarah team delivered two of the four stages of the build ahead of schedule, with the remaining two successfully delivered on time.

Originally experiencing a high vacancy rate prior to the refurbishment, tenant occupancy rates increased substantially throughout the project – including a new tenancy for Cheap as Chips – which is testament to the quality result delivered.

“I greatly respect Sarah Constructions for their professionalism, knowledge and open approach as it gave me the utmost confidence to take their word on many an occasion where project complexities required on-the-spot rectification.”

Chris Dickson, Manager of Projects - SA APP Corporation Pty Limited

Colonnades retail development completed in live commercial environment


Design Challenges and Creative Solutions

  • Installation of a pre-purchased travellator. The client had procured a travellator for the shopping centre prior to the build. The logistics associated with the removal of the existing travellator and installation of the new unit was made more challenging with the unexpected requirement to modify the existing structure which the team adapted to and delivered well.
  • Interior design pack. With a large contingent involved in the interior design of the mall, the Sarah team received extensive input for the interior design of the project. To make sure all voices were heard, the Sarah team allowed time to workshop ideas ensuring everyone was on board and happy with the end interior design pack. The Sarah team further added to these positive outcomes by innovating additional joinery trees and canopies for the mall’s internal columns. The procurement of an independent artist to undertake extensive artwork to the external façade of the building was a process Sarah assisted with and administered on behalf of the client, resulting in successful delivery through concept stages to delivery.
  • Installing a larger goods lift. To gain initial access to the shaft of existing goods lift which had been concreted in, the Sarah team needed to demolish the walls and floors. After gaining access it was discovered the shaft dimensions were incorrect and needed resizing in order to accommodate the new goods lift. The Sarah team reworked the existing structure of the shaft in order to accommodate the new equipment.

Client Outcomes

  • Increased foot traffic to the mall. Completion of the project has resulted in a significant increase in foot traffic to this area of the mall. Previously quite narrow, the Sarah team were able to substantially increase the width of Colonnades mall, creating an inviting open space where people want to spend their time.
  • Improved tenant occupancy. Prior to the refurbishment of the Colonnades mall, occupancy rates were very low. Even while works were still underway at the shopping centre, interest in tenancies within the mall increased considerably. The majority of tenancies were trading or had executed agreements for lease by the end of the project, with only a small percentage remaining vacant by the time the Sarah team downed tools.
  • Finished in time for Christmas. Working hard to achieve delivery targets, the Sarah team were able to complete the Colonnades refurbishment in time for Christmas trading, ensuring the mall was handed over and trading at capacity for their busiest time of year.

Sarah Value-Add

  • Fire engineering. The fire engineering of Colonnades’ lower-ground floor was a challenge due to the existing smoke management strategy incorporating areas of the building outside of the contract scope of works. By working on an extensive smoke modelling process alongside both government and project fire engineers, the Sarah team were able to deliver a compliant solution by utilising the existing infrastructure, avoiding the need to install significant upgrades and providing the client with substantial savings.
  • Striking mural. An external 800m2 mural was required as part of the build. Sarah took the lead, going above and beyond to handle the project from start to finish. Expressions of interest were sought from artists around Australia. The Sarah team, alongside Vicinity Centres then selected the artist, developed their proposal and arranged all approvals including copyright requirements. The result is an impressive and colourful masterpiece often commented on by the general public.
  • Negotiating a live environment. It was important that the shopping centre remained fully operational throughout the build. To minimise impact upon tenants within and visitors to the centre, the Sarah team doubled their output by working continuous day and night shifts, six days a week for 19 weeks of the seven-month build. As a result, all existing and newly occupied tenancies remained fully operational throughout the build.

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