St. Collins Lane

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St. Collins Lane
St. Collins Lane logo
St Collins Lane Void 201708.jpg
St. Collins Lane Atrium (2017)
LocationMelbourne, Australia
Coordinates37°48′57″S 144°57′54″E / 37.8159°S 144.9649°E / -37.8159; 144.9649Coordinates: 37°48′57″S 144°57′54″E / 37.8159°S 144.9649°E / -37.8159; 144.9649
Address260 Collins Street
Opening date
  • 1939 (as Australia Arcade)
  • 1992 (as Australia On Collins)
  • 2016 (as St. Collins Lane)
OwnerJPMorgan Asset Management
ArchitectARM Architecture
No. of stores and services55
Total retail floor area9,000 square metres (97,000 sq ft)
No. of floors4
Collin Street Entrance (Christmas 2018)
Lower Ground Shops
Ground Floor Shops

St. Collins Lane is a shopping centre which stretches between Collins and Little Collins streets in Melbourne, Australia. The first shopping centre on the site, the Australia Arcade, opened in 1939 as part of the Australia Hotel development. In 1992, a new centre, Australia On Collins, was constructed on the site, and was redeveloped from 2014 into the present building.

It leads directly into the Walk Arcade at the northern end, and faces Centre Place across Collins Street at the southern end, forming part of a chain of arcades and shopping centres which lead from Flinders Street Station to Melbourne Central Shopping Centre through the blocks between Elizabeth and Swanston streets.[1]


Starting in the late 1870s, this block of Collins Street was home to the city's most fashionable stores, such as milliners, glove-importers, portrait painters, photographers and hairdressers. Businesses such as Georges Emporium, Allan's and Glen's music and Mullens' Bookshop and Lending Library drew the cream of Melbourne society. Gunstler's, later the Vienna Café, rebuilt in 1916 as the Cafe Australia, was the finest tea-room in the city.[2] By the 1880s, promenading here became known as ‘doing the block’ and street became known simply as "The Block", a title taken up by the Block Arcade, built 1890-93.[3] The Hotel Australia, completed in 1939 and designed by Leslie M. Perrott, a 12-storey building with 94 rooms, was the most prestigious hotel in Melbourne in its day. It replaced a number of buildings, including the Cafe Australia, which has been designed by Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahoney Griffin, taking the name and including an arched-roofed ballroom replicating the Griffin’s distinctive angular style. The hotel included a twin-screen cinema in the basement and a shopping arcade on the ground floor which was touted as the largest in Australia. This became known as the Australia Arcade.[4]

In 1989, the Hotel Australia was replaced by a new development, completed in 1992, the Australia on Collins shopping arcade and hotel.[4] The building's architecture was variously described as postmodern and imitating art deco style,[3] and the shopping levels were ramped up and down from the street entrances in order to maximise the number of shops, and which resulted in a confusing layout. In later years, Australia on Collins was criticised as "a poor man's temple to the great god of commercialism" and included in a list of Melbourne's worst buildings by The Age newspaper.[5] The centre in this period included approximately 100 shops and a food court with space for 750 diners.[6]

In April 2014, then owners LaSalle Investment Management (LIM) announced that the "dysfunctional" centre would be closed for a redevelopment costing A$30,000,000. Architects Ashton Raggat McDougall were engaged to improve the building's "sight lines" and to prevent customers from feeling "trapped", which resulted in the shopping levels being reduced from five levels to four, without the ramping. LIM stated that the redeveloped centre would be made up of larger stores with a focus on international brands.[6]

The redeveloped St. Collins Lane opened on 16 May 2016 and was immediately placed on the market by its owners, along with the Melbourne Novotel hotel.[7] The centre had an approximately 70% tenancy rate at opening and was hoped by its owners to rival the recently opened Emporium Melbourne on Lonsdale Street.[8]

St. Collins Lane was purchased in November 2016 by JPMorgan Asset Management for a reported price of $247 million.[9]


The centre has 35[10] operating stores and includes clothing, footwear and cosmetics outlets, as well as a food court. Current key tenants include Debenhams, Leica, Maje, Coach, Furla, The Kooples, Zadig & Voltaire, Tag Heuer and Birkenstock.

UK department store Debenhams opened as an anchor tenant in October 2017.[11] In November 2018, Melbourne’s first Leica store and gallery opened offering an art gallery, studio and Akademie workshops.[12]

In November 2018, it was announced that British watchmaker Bremont and Paris fashion house Claudie Pierlot had signed on as new tenants. Bremont is set to open in December 2018 while Claudie Pierlot will open for trading in the first half of 2019.[13]

Four new restaurants, Shujinko, Poke and Sushi Boto, Meat the Challenge and Saint Dreux are set to open in the summer of 2018/19.[13]

Current centre[edit]

The centre has 9,000 square metres (97,000 sq ft) of lettable floor space spread across 55 retail stores and 12 restaurants. As of November 2018, approximately 34 retailers were open, and 4 restaurants were operating on the top-floor "dining precinct".[10]


  1. ^ Hopkins, Philip (3 August 2011). "Retail's confidence builder". The Age. Retrieved 23 August 2017. The overall aim is to improve the connection between Melbourne Central and Flinders Street railway stations through more north-south links such as Degraves Street, Australia on Collins, and the Causeway Arcade.
  2. ^ Annear, Robyn (2005). A City Lost & Found: Whelan the Wrecker's Melbourne. Black Inc. p. 215. ISBN 9781863953894. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
  3. ^ a b Dimech, Adam. "Australia on Collins". Melbourne Buildings. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
  4. ^ a b Spicer, Chrystopher J. "Australia Hotel". School of Historical Studies, Department of History, The University of Melbourne. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
  5. ^ Munro, Peter (14 February 2010). "A blight on sore eyes: are these our worst buildings?". The Age. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
  6. ^ a b Johanson, Simon (2 April 2014). "Collins Street mall to become another luxury retail centre". The Age. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
  7. ^ Allen, Lisa; Condon, Turi (27 April 2016). "LaSalle puts $500m Melbourne hotel, retail complex on the block". The Weekend Australian. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
  8. ^ Johanson, Simon (2 March 2016). "St Collins Lane opens in May, set to rival Emporium". The Age. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
  9. ^ Wilmot, Ben (14 November 2016). "JPMorgan buys city precinct". The Australian. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
  10. ^ a b "Directory | St. Collins Lane Unique Melbourne Shopping Destination". Retrieved 21 February 2018.
  11. ^ "Debenhams kicks off at St Collins Lane - Inside Retail". Inside Retail. 24 October 2017. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
  12. ^ "Melbourne's first Leica Store and Gallery is here | St. Collins Lane". St. Collins Lane. Retrieved 20 November 2018.
  13. ^ a b "Bremont, Claudie Pierlot and Xmas pop-ups at JP Morgan's St Collins Lane". Financial Review. 14 November 2018. Retrieved 20 November 2018.

External links[edit]