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Old March 13th, 2007, 09:52 PM   #1
The Olderfleet
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Myer to leave Lonsdale Street!

I am a bit sad about the Lonsdale Street exit... although I concede that it will probably be necessary... Hopefully Bourke Street will be beautifully restored/refurbished.

From The Age:

Myer to leave Lonsdale

CITY icon Myer Melbourne is to be slashed dramatically in size after the company's management announced last night it would exit the Lonsdale Street building that makes up half the store.

In a clear sign that the retail giant's battle with competitor David Jones is heating up, Myer chief executive Bernie Brookes told Melbourne City councillors the city store was looking tired and badly needed a makeover.

Under the plan disclosed last night, Myer will nearly halve the amount of retail space it has in central Melbourne.

No product lines are to be cut in the $40 million revamp but a Myer spokeswoman said the flagship Bourke Street store's tiles, carpets, mannequins, coffee shop and fitting rooms would be overhauled.

Myer will sell the Bourke Street store, but lease it back for at least 20 years.

The Lonsdale Street site was likely to be converted into a mixed-use development with retail, hotel and serviced-apartment components, selling agent Mark Granter, from CB Richard Ellis, said.

The two heritage-listed buildings are likely to fetch more than $400 million, he said.

About 1000 administrative staff now in Lonsdale Street are to move to offices in the central business district, Southbank or Docklands.

Retail consultant Ross Honeywill said Myer's Melbourne store had been "significantly too large" for far too long. Selling the Lonsdale Street store was a wise move, he said.

"Myer stores have become really very cluttered, and brought into stark contrast with David Jones. It has been the 21st-century version of a department store, whereas Myer has been stuck in the 20th-century 'emporium' mindset," Mr Honeywill said.

Over the past three decades, department stores had deleted radically or reduced many of their once-traditional lines such as whitegoods and books.

"All department stores are really looking to go on a diet because they know they're carrying too much floor area for the number of relevant categories they've now got," he said.

Myer's Mr Brookes yesterday said there was no intention for Myer to move out of the CBD.

The Myer retail chain and its Bourke Street store was sold by the former Coles Myer last year for $1.4 billion to a consortium that included US-based Texas Pacific Group and members of the Myer family.


Also from The Age:

City Myer for sale

THE Myer department store in the Bourke Street Mall is back on the market with an asking price of more than $400 million.

The Myer retail chain and its Bourke Street store was sold by Coles Myer in March last year for $1.4 billion to a consortium that included US-based Texas Pacific Group and members of the Myer family.

The consortium was expected to refurbish the Bourke Street premises to revive its flagging fortunes and challenge rival David Jones.

A retail property source said the eventual sale price would depend on how much of the 70,000-square-metre property was sold and which floors were retained by the retail giant.

"I think they would probably want to lease back the ground floor that abuts the mall but I expect most of the Lonsdale Street premises will be redeveloped," the source said.

A Myer spokeswoman refused to confirm the listing yesterday, but the company is expected to make a formal announcement next week.

A spokeswoman for CB Richard Ellis, the agents believed to be handling the sale, also declined to comment.

Property sources said the Industry Superannuation Property Trust, which owns the adjoining GPO complex on the corner of Bourke and Elizabeth streets, would "move heaven and earth" to secure the building.

The trust recently paid almost $50 million for the nearby Strand Arcade retail complex.

SEE ALSO: The Myer Emporium Discussion Thread

Two pictures of the Lonsdale Street building:



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Old March 13th, 2007, 10:50 PM   #2
Hunter1
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This could be a good thing so far as the Bourke Street store being restored to it's former glory (hopefully) rather than guttted, but, I can't help and feel sad that this is the end of an era.

I worked in the Toy Dept all through High School and Uni on 6th floor Lonsdale. During a recent trip home to Melbourne, it was dissapointing to discover that the toy dept was no longer on the 6th floor in Lonsdale Stree, now all of the Lonsdale Street store is to go!!

Ohh well, I guess this sums up those imortal words from Muriel's Wedding, all to well..... "You can't stand in the way of progress!"

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Old March 13th, 2007, 11:05 PM   #3
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The Lonsdale St section of city Myer was always the arse end of the store and a rabbit warren that wont be missed that much.
Hopefully they will spend more than a paltry $40 million on revamping the Bourke St building.
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Old March 14th, 2007, 01:10 AM   #4
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Myer in the city is pretty dingy, especially Lonsdale street.. It desperately needs a makeover inside. Looks like a glorified Target at the moment. David Jones is a classier store and I think as a company is doing better than Myer.
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Old March 14th, 2007, 01:38 AM   #5
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Lonsdale entrance = steps to the street, bright sunshine, roasted nuts and buttery biscuit smells; less bustle

Bourke Street = teaming hordes, perfumes and freezing cold winds once past the air wall.

I much prefer the Lonsdale Street entry and the facade seems more imposing and harmonious too.
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Old March 14th, 2007, 02:17 AM   #6
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What will happen to the pedestrian walkway over Lonsdale St that links Melb Central with Myer?
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Old March 14th, 2007, 02:26 AM   #7
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This is very sad news indeed. I will keep saying this till the cows come home, but Myer shoudl move out of one building, refurbish that, move back into the refuirbished building and refurbish the other one and move back into that too.

They need to punch a huge hole through the middle of both buildings and open up the interiors, that way there will be better connection through from melbourne Central to Bourke St from all levels.

I think this is the wrong move and will spell the end of Myer Melbourne.
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Old March 14th, 2007, 02:32 AM   #8
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It's an inevitable move. The Melbourne City Myer store is just too big - it is designed for another age.

Will be interesting to see what happens to the Lonsdale St store, and as Qantas743 asks, what happens to the bridge between Melbourne Central and the Lonsdale St store as a result.
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Old March 14th, 2007, 02:43 AM   #9
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Years ago I imagined that they might gut the interiors of both stores and cut a huge hole and make a plaza or square in the centre...at little Bourke st. and make it a modern competitor to Melbourne Central. Now what will become of the Lonsdale store ??? renovation into more shops..an obvious link between Myer and Melbourne Central...or demolishion and replacement with low level shopping and offices / appartments above ??? Maybe even a Sydney..centrepoint like development....with a 450m observation tower on top.....heeehee...just dreaming !
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Old March 14th, 2007, 03:35 AM   #10
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Myer has let the stores deteriorate so badly over the last two decades that I don't really care if they stay or go now as long as it is restored and redeveloped.

I am just waiting for the big fight when the new owners apply for a planning scheme amendment to building taller than 40 metres above the lonsdale street store, it will be interesting to see just how high they try to go.
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Old March 14th, 2007, 03:50 AM   #11
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Myer has been the same for so long. Neglect of the facade and a dump of an interior, no natural light, dirty carpet, crowded displays, and generally a maze.
It needs a real overhaul. But I agree with Aussie Steve that it's a shame that both stores are going. Myer Melbourne is one of the largest department stores in the world, reputedly 5th largest, and cutting it down is a real loss.
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Old March 14th, 2007, 10:07 AM   #12
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I was just telling them in the Sydney forums that MYER is losing out. They also closed their Burwood store - 4 levels i think - with David Jones buying it out. The MYER closing down sale was 75% off ALREADY reduced stock. SO look at the upside, there might be a MASSIVE sale on. A friend of mine who works at MYER said they werent making anough profit and that other stores were closing down or going to be closed down soon.

I HATE DAVID JONES - It has the shittest stock! Very cheap looking expensive stuff for the elderly.
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Old March 14th, 2007, 01:18 PM   #13
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Why do these newspaper articles keep mentioning new fitting rooms? Are new fitting rooms meant to be be impressive?

I think it's a shame. The Herald Sun quoted the mayor as saying Myer was embarking on some sort of "innovative vertical retailing". I mean the hell is that and why is it innovating? They will only make their problems worse. Already in the store now it is the lower floors of the building where the most people are and the higher you go the more deserted it becomes. The same phenomenon can often be seen in any mall with more than one level.

I also think Myer do an appalling job at utilizing the space they do have. Financial Review said the entire building area is more than 100,000 square metres. So much of this space is filled with inventory or with simply nothing at all. Myer also tend to leave their mess behind and making it look pretty rather than actually cleaning it up. Level 3 in Londsdale is still filled with an industrial sized kitchen despite not being used in years. Meanwhile Men's Shoes is stuck out by itself in Lt Bourke St! Ditto with Men's Suits. They have 100,000 sqm to play with and they couldn't find somewhere to put ~200 sqm worth of men's shoes? Women's Shoes takes up nearly an entire floor!

I worked at Myer for a long time and they are prone to making ill concieved decisions regardless of who the owners are. Moving the cards up to level 3 was one of them. Who in their right mind wants to travel up three escalators to buy a birthday card that you can buy from the newsagent around the corner?

What I would have liked to see is Myer retain the lower few floors of both buildings and use the upper floors for hotel or office complex or something else. I think it's a better solution to have larger floorplates over fewer floors lower down then many more smaller floorplates going higher up. The Bourke St upper floors are even worse off than the Lonsdale St ones. At least Lonsdale St has a bridge from Melbourne Central that injects shoppers directly into the 2nd and 3rd floors. It's also odd how they hold DJ's up as a model when their store in Melbourne is spread out over three seperate buildings from Lt Collins through to the other side of Lt Bourke.

I also can't help but be suspicious that Newbridge Capital have little concern about the future "shopping experience" in a new Myer Melbourne in five years time because their plans extend as far as cashing out of their position in three or four years time. In any case it's not surprising that they are selling the real estate. Coles Myer were going to sell the buildings seperately anyway before Newbridge bought both Myer and the buildings.
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Old March 14th, 2007, 01:24 PM   #14
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It is quite disappointing that MYER are moving out because 1. it's obviously going to be much smaller and therefore Melbourne will lose a famous landmark and 2. knowing Melbourne projects the building will probably sit derelict for 5 years or so and, like the Southern Cross, squatters will move in and it will be one big dump in Lonsdale St.

IMO, ALL the footbridges will be removed.
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Old March 14th, 2007, 03:23 PM   #15
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It will not sit derelict. Why on earth would someone pay $400 million just to let it sit derelict?
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Old March 14th, 2007, 09:52 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyson View Post
What I would have liked to see is Myer retain the lower few floors of both buildings and use the upper floors for hotel or office complex or something else. I think it's a better solution to have larger floorplates over fewer floors lower down then many more smaller floorplates going higher up. The Bourke St upper floors are even worse off than the Lonsdale St ones. At least Lonsdale St has a bridge from Melbourne Central that injects shoppers directly into the 2nd and 3rd floors. It's also odd how they hold DJ's up as a model when their store in Melbourne is spread out over three seperate buildings from Lt Collins through to the other side of Lt Bourke.
I think this makes a lot of sense and I agree 100%.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyson View Post
It will not sit derelict. Why on earth would someone pay $400 million just to let it sit derelict?
I hope it won't sit derilict! That'd make me very sad...

I wonder what will happen to the Myer Aerial Crossover on Little Bourke Street? I hope this is retained... it is a significant part of Melbourne's architectual heritage...



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Old March 14th, 2007, 11:51 PM   #17
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Gotta actually disagree about the bridges. I think if they came down then it would add a lot of charm back to that area of the street, as you would be able to see more of the old myer buildings, and it would let more light into the street during the day.
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Old March 15th, 2007, 02:27 AM   #18
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The Myer Little Bourke Street bridge is a B graded heritage building under a heritage building so it will not be demolished.
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Old March 15th, 2007, 02:37 AM   #19
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Please remove the paint from the windows, provide some definition to the lovely Art Deco detailing on the facade and put in a lighter canopy out the front:



It could be one of THE Melbourne landmark buildings but at the moment it's like someone thinks the building is a mistake and tried to cover it up with liquid paper.

The Lonsdale Street building has suffered from the same treatment as well.
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Old March 15th, 2007, 04:39 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grollo View Post
The Myer Little Bourke Street bridge is a B graded heritage building under a heritage building so it will not be demolished.
Any idea what will happen to the Lonsdale St bridge?
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