Early procurement, flexibility, and strong relationships have helped Proven Project Management deliver a new industry-leading food, fashion and leisure section at Karrinyup Shopping Centre.
Despite the issues surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 60 new food and leisure stores opened in the first stage of the $800 million development by AMP Capital.
The stores were delivered as part of the new ‘Fresh Market’ and the ground level of ‘The Loop’, including fashion offerings spanning sporting, streetwear and lifestyle brands.
Sourcing labour has been a challenge throughout COVID-19, but Proven project director Chris West said strategies such as early procurement ensured the project was delivered on time.
“COVID-19 has made a complex project more complex”, he said.
“There was quite a lot of planning between Multiplex, ourselves and AMP around procurement to make sure our program was able to be maintained given the restriction on access into the State, both internationally and nationally.
“Some things we procured earlier than we might have needed to avoid the risk we perceived.”
And Proven project director Stephen Ralph said the pandemic had forced a re-think about the timeline for the re-opening.
“Our staging was initially multiple vertical stages through the whole building,” Mr Ralph said.
“When COVID came along and retail leasing became more difficult, staging changed, and it became horizontal.”
Despite these changes, Mr West said the first stage was opened on schedule, which was a great achievement given the complexity of the project.
Karrinyup Shopping Centre was originally built in the 1970s and working on a building of that age, while ensuring business continuity, created several challenges, especially negotiating the structural and services interface of the existing complex.
“The expansion of an old existing centre at this scale is quite difficult because you have to interact with a lot of existing live safety systems and other services,” Mr West said.
“Because the existing structure is so old, there wasn’t much information available, and there was a lot of investigative work required. We also had to find ways to enable Multiplex to build without disrupting the operating centre.”
Mr Ralph said there were some big challenges for Proven, including understanding how the company could best support the existing structure, working out where it could be cut and interfacing with the building on multiple fronts.
“There was a constant challenge in discovering services that weren’t on drawings and coming up with new ways to keep the centre running or to integrate what we had planned,” he said.
Proven senior project manager Gavin Tucker said the project involved a lot of nightworks, particularly in live areas.
Mr West said the project, which is one of the largest current retail projects in Australia, was the most complicated project Proven had worked on.
“The complexity and size of it; professionally, you don’t get a chance like this maybe even once in a lifetime,” he said.
Aside from bringing in big brands like Sephora which cannot be found elsewhere in WA, Mr West said the expansion would deliver a significant mixed-use development for the community.
“When it’s completed, it won’t just be a retail centre,” he said.
“It will be a community hub and mini town centre with entertainment, mixed food and beverage, and residential.”
With significant investment in children’s play, including a playground which will open in October, the project is aimed at creating a family-friendly environment where customers can stay beyond business hours.
“The vision was to have facilities that would stay open beyond the normal 5:30 closing time,” Mr Ralph said.
“If you come here for end-of-day shopping, you can stay and have dinner, watch a movie, go to the pub.
“It’s not just a place to shop, it’s a destination and it’s a place to come and dwell.”
Inspired by the surrounding environment, a wave breaks above shoppers in the new Fresh Food mall as part of the timber ceiling design.
“AMP’s brief included a coastal theme which was based around the local vernacular,” Mr West said.
“Every piece of the breaking wave ceiling was individually cut and placed, no two pieces are the same.
“On the west, we have a reflection of Karrinyup’s relationship to the coast and then on the east you have more of a connection with Lake Gwelup.”
One of the factors behind Proven’s success was the company’s ability to build and leverage strong relationships, Mr West said.
“We’re proactive in resolving the issues that arise immediately,” he said.
“We work collaboratively with the builder and the owner and we provide the conduit between the two to resolve problems.
“We spend a lot of time building relationships.”
With e-commerce grabbing a bigger share of the retail market in recent years, AMP was focused on providing a retail offering that encouraged shoppers to take their time.
“AMP has spent quite a lot of time design wise to ensure it’s not just a place you come to do your grocery shopping,” Mr West said.
“It’s a place you come to eat, to dwell, so you can enjoy your experience while you do your weekly shopping – it’s a slow shop.”
More than 100 additional shops will be opened in October as part of the second stage of the development. This will include the new outdoor entertainment and dining precinct called The West Deck as well as level 1 of ‘The Loop'.