The first stage of Rhodes Central’s $2.5 billion Town Centre opened its doors this week, marking a major milestone in a journey spanning two decades.
Coinciding with 1,500 people moving into Billbergia’s latest residential offerings at the precinct across the past 90 days, the Rhodes Central shopping centre is home to more than 55 shops and services including a Woolworths supermarket, health and wellness services, plus Bamboo Lane, a destination dining precinct that channels Asian food markets.
Billbergia has masterplanned and created Rhodes Central from the ground up, after buying parcels of land in the 1990s. Billbergia Founder, John Kinsella AM, saw potential in the formerly industrial site, believing its waterfront location and key transport hubs would bring a number of future occupants and visitors to the site. Billbergia has worked closely with the local council and Department of Planning to roll out its masterplan.
“It has taken a great deal of planning, foresight and patient capital to consolidate enough land to develop a whole community rather than building piecemeal. Billbergia’s business is about creating communities, not building buildings, and that philosophy is at the heart of Rhodes Central,” says Rick Graf, Development Director at Billbergia.
“Our vision was to build an entire master-planned precinct, and while we’ve already been involved in Rhodes for 20 years, we have also acquired enough land in Rhodes East to stay for another two decades. We are holistic developers of sustainable communities, rather than piecemeal hit-and-run merchants.”
The slender profile of the residential towers have left approximately 40 percent of the land remaining that will be turned into public parks and open spaces. Billbergia believes it was the best approach, building upwards as opposed to outwards, in order to ensure the ground plane wasn’t restricting public spaces. The current Rhodes Central site covers about 20,000 square metres in addition to the 12 buildings on the Rhodes peninsula already developed by Billbergia, with four more to come.
More than 90 percent of the Rhodes population now lives in high rise buildings, compared to 2001, when not a single person did so. As the suburb continues to mature, the next stage of Rhodes Central comprises new homes for an additional 4,000 residents and a $70 million community recreation centre over two levels.
“There are already 12,000 people living within walking distance of the new Town Centre. They can walk to the dining and shopping amenities and to the railway station. They enjoy the convenience of being able to pop downstairs to a full-line supermarket at 10 o’clock at night,” says Graf.
“Rhodes Central brings together an extraordinary set of circumstances close to the geographic heart of metropolitan Sydney.”
Graf says the opening of the shopping centre was a proud moment for both the developer and community residents.
“As Rhodes Central shopping centre was finally able to open to residents, there was an enormous sense of pride that this community has been such a success. People have been able to head outside and enjoy the parks, waterfront and restaurants,” he says.
“The whole place is buzzing and that was the vision from the start – to create a place where people love to live and where they enjoy a lifestyle that is second to none.”
To find out more about the Rhodes Central Town Centre, head to rhodescentral.com.au.