The investment management group wants to refresh the 10-year-old Home HQ in Artarmon and give it a new lease of life as a lifestyle shopping destination for the local area.
Part of that is focusing on food tenancies in a purpose-built dining precinct called The Front Yard to cater for the growing residential community in the area.
Fortius purchased Home HQ in May 2018 and has moved fast to begin revamping the 22,000 sqm property.
The multimillion-dollar investment is an indicator of the growing importance of food-and-beverage amenities in attracting people to commercial properties and increasing customer dwell time.
This includes traditional large-format retail centre owners, which are tapping into the convenience and abundant parking offered on its large shopping sites.
The 686 sqm hub will also have the potential to be a multi-purpose venue for events and community activities.
The space will be housed within a glazed pavilion with modern interiors, according to Paul Saunders, an architect from Saunders Global.
The area will be fitted out with pot plants and outdoor seating, while a mix of formal and casual alfresco dining and children’s play zones will make up the landscaped area.
Home HQ’s catchment of customers include patrons from the Royal North Shore Hospital, the surrounding commercial and residential population and the existing Home HQ foot traffic.
CBRE’s Leif Olson and Oxford Agency’s Steffan Ippolito, are running the expressions of interest campaign for The Front Yard.
Mr Olson said several major food-and-beverage groups were hunting for spaces on the lower north shore, as there was an undersupply of quality food and beverage opportunities in the area.
“The Front Yard by Home HQ represents an opportunity for experienced operators to tap into a highly affluent market, which is crying out for a good quality offering,” Mr Olson said.
Mr Ippolito expects The Front Yard to become the cornerstone of Home HQ.
CBRE’s Shane Cook, who negotiated the centre’s recent leases, said Fortius also intends to install smart parking technology in the homemaker centre’s 450-space car park.
''This licence-plate recognition technology is already being utilised at Westfield’s Bondi Junction and across Australia. The software is set to improve efficiencies and streamline entry to and exit from the centre, influencing smoother retail parking operations,'' Mr Cook said.
The centre has recently secured leasing deals with new tenants DeRUCCI and Unique Car Wash.
Development of The Front Yard is set to launch early this year.
Cover Image: The future food-and-beverage precinct is part of the centre owner’s strategy to transform Home HQ. (Image: Saunders Global)