David Jones’ Major Redevelopment of Heritage-Listed Flagship Store

David Jones is planning to undergo a multi-level refurbishment of their Elizabeth Street Store in order to reinvent the 90-year-old building and give it a new urban presence.

Located at 84-110 Castlereagh Street in Sydney, the heritage-listed building has been the flagship store for David Jones in Australia for the past 90 years.

The estimated project refurbishment cost is over $75 million. David Jones filed a development application with the City of Sydney earlier this month.

The David Jones Elizabeth Street store will be entirely refurbished and internally redesigned to create a contemporary flagship for the brand.

Confirming its investment in premium food offering, the retailer will open an upmarket food hall on the lower-ground floor of the Elizabeth Street store.

[Related reading: David Jones Announces First Melbourne Location for Food Hall]

International architecture firm Benoy have been appointed to design the internal and external alterations for the Elizabeth Street store. Australian architectural firm Crone have also been appointed.

The upmarket department store announced major changes — an expansion plan in 2015. The retailer flagged the Elizabeth Street store refurbishment at that time.

External alterations consist of the replacement of existing window displays with new store entries at the corner of Market Street and Elizabeth Street and the corner of Market Street and Castlereagh Street with alterations to the awning and re-grading of the public footpath in front of the new entries.

[Related reading: James Street David Jones the Second of its Kind in Australia]

After announcing their three-year food sector strategy in August, David Jones will launch a food hall in the lower ground floor, “The Agora” with the aim to provide a gourmet mini-market similar to Eataly in New York and La Grand Epicerie under Bon Marche in Paris.

The move into food retailing came not long after Woolworths $2.1 billion takeover of the department store chain three years ago — with the retailer spotting a gap in the $70 billion retail food market.

And as the imminent arrival of Amazon threatens the Australian retail market, creating a shopping experience that cannot be replicated with purchases bought online is paramount for more traditional retailers.

[Related reading: What’s on the Menu: Inside the Latest Food-Based Retailing Trends]

Internal alterations consist of demolition works and fit-out of levels, new escalators and service upgrades and a basement food hall. A central atrium will rise three-storeys.

Architects Weir Phillips Heritage provided heritage advice. The building was designed by prominent architects Henry E Budden and Crawford H Mackellar, constructed in the late 1920s and completed in 1928.

The existing building represents the inter-war architectural style. The design proposed refurbishment will provide the building with new entrances and arrival experiences, a new urban outlook and engaging corners for pedestrians.

The internal mezzanine will make way for new retail uses, a restaurant and a champagne bar, along with three new lifts.

The Elizabeth Street store will maintain the traditional department-store floorplate, with half-height partitioning for concessions.

“As partitioning is limited to half height, an understanding of the large retail floorplate is maintained. Refreshing of fitouts has occurred on a regular basis throughout the history of the store. The refreshing fitouts is integral to the art of retail.”

It will continue to occur in the future as fashion changes and new requirements are made of retail. The fitout is a form of ephemera, giving a glimpse into a particular period in the history of the Store.”

The development will cover a GFA of 39,000 square metres across 12-storeys.

David Jones filed their submission to the City of Sydney this month with an estimated project development cost of $75,750,400.

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