With a heritage that dates back over 100 years, Georges Department Store in Melbourne was one of the original pioneers in Australian retail. Owners William and Arthur George moved into the building at the ‘Paris’ end of George Street in 1889, into what is today know as one of the most iconic buildings in Melbourne.
Georges Department Store ceased trading in 1995 and following a failed first attempt at refurbishment, the building sat redundant for three years. This was until we recognised the potential to revive the building that housed the once magnificent department store. Our love for heritage buildings and expertise of retail development was the inspiration for this project, which started with the purchase of the leasing rights in 1999.
With approximately 6,000sqm, spread over four floors, we envisioned a contemporary, mixed-use retail and commercial precinct that catered to the needs of the modern day shopper. We transformed the entire building, creating bespoke offices on the top two floors for advertising agencies Y&R George Patterson and Adtown. The ground and basement floors were refurbished for a mixture of retail tenants. Occupants included a homeware store and variety of men’s and women’s fashion retailers, complemented by a café, hairdresser and upmarket restaurant and cocktail bar – the Long Room.
Maintaining the buildings Neo-Renaissance style façade and original internal characteristics, such as the high ceilings and arched windows, we incorporated stainless steel, timber, and frosted glass features to compliment the exiting architecture and introduce natural light into the newly open planned floor space.
Georges is ideally situated with 300m of frontage on Collins Street with a walkway on the ground floor that connects to Little Collins Street, allowing pedestrian access and a flow of footfall through the building. Today it is an iconic Melbourne CBD landmark, where style-conscious consumers flock to, to indulge in a spot of retail therapy.
- Iconic heritage refurbishment
- 6,000sqm office space
- Mixed use precinct;
- Commercial, retail and hospitality tenants