Factory Outlet Centre and Mixed Use Development, East Werribee, Victoria
Architects in Association: ALA Architects
In 2014, Gateway Links Pty Ltd purchased a greenfield, 14 hectare site, south of the Princes Highway, opposite the Hoppers Crossing railway station. Their intention was to develop, initially, a large Factory Outlet Centre, along with offices and showrooms at the eastern end of the site, integrated with the nearby Hoppers Crossing retail precinct. This project would set the scene for a longer term series of developments to the west, in compliance with the health and education focus of the broader zone.
The site is cut by two major north south road reserves, in effect creating three sites, which needed to be connected and integrated. Access to the site was heavily controlled by the proposed freeway off ramp location and signalised intersections to the west. In addition, there was no drainage outfall, so site water needed to be directed to a detention basin, then filtered before discharge overland. Along the eastern edge of the site is a high pressure gas pipeline which necessitated a 50 m building set back from it. This significantly restricted the optimisation of the site. Planning for the long term future required flexible designs which could cope with change, including further development of the first stage as demand for retail, commercial and residential increased over the years.
The solution to these many challenges resulted in an imposing office/showroom complex along the Princes Highway, fronting a 17,500 sqm Factory Outlet Centre incorporating a spine element, loop mall and two plazas edged by cafes. Parking is on the surface to the east, under the showrooms to the north and in an under croft to the south, which provides lift and escalator access directly into the mall. Concealed loading docks service retail from both north and south. There are opportunities for long term expansion in the form of high rise commercial or even residential blocks along the north and south edges of the project. Opportunities have been created for the integration of developments to the west connected by an extension of the spine, and suitable internal access roads.