Changing trends influencing award-winning retail projects


It may have been a hard year for retail development, but looking at well-designed projects can shed light on what makes or breaks a precinct, the Urban Developer reports

As online shopping increases there is a push to create destination stores while harnessing the internet to drive visitation. Design, construction, market acceptance, financial performance, sustainability, collaboration and social outcomes are also key when it comes to adding value to new developments.

The adaptive re-use of historic buildings to create a dining, entertainment and tourism precinct was one of the reasons Howard Smith Wharves in Brisbane won The Urban Developer Awards for Industry Excellence 2019 development of the year for retail.

The 2018 winner, QIC Global Real Estate’s Eastland Stage 5 Project, had a focus on urban renewal, linking transport and creating a new centre-point for Ringwood in east Melbourne.

Moving into the pandemic, the 2020 finalists found fresh air, sustainability and social outcomes future-proofed their developments.

Ultimately Frasers Property’s Burwood Brickworks Shopping Centre took home the trophy with its self-sufficient design in east Melbourne.

Living building challenge manager Stephen Choi said they had gone into the development quite open minded and, after its success, would adapt elements of this project into future retail design.

“It’s a building that generates renewable energy, cleans its own water, is made with non-toxic material, has incredible air quality, biophilic design and there’s more than 5000sq m of food-growing on site,” Choi said.

“There’s an amazing number of end-of-trip facilities for people to use and it’s just a beautiful internal environment for people to spend their time in.

“We want people to invest their time there.”

Choi said they created the shopping centre under the same performance parameters as Fraser’s other developments with a more sustainable outcome which will influence the future of retail.


The Urban Developer