Ritchies to anchor $1b Pentridge Prison redevelopment

Ritchies to anchor $1b Pentridge Prison redevelopment

14 December 2018

Ritchies Supermarket has taken up a major 2,200 square metre lease at the redeveloped historic 1851 prison site, Her Majesty’s Prison Pentridge in Coburg, about 8km north of the Melbourne CBD, reports the AFR.

Ritchies struck a deal with developer Shayher Group to take up the anchor supermarket lease for 14 years, trading as Ritchies Fine Foods & Wine Merchants.

The supermarket will be part of a $1b master-planned community that will include up to 1,300 apartments, office space, a 19-storey apartment hotel, and retail and entertainment options.

The project will feature a 6,000 square metre retail hub with up to 14 cafes, bars and restaurants specialty shops, a 15-screen Palace cinema complex, an outdoor piazza area along with the Ritchies supermarket,

The group bought the site in 2013 for a reported $18 million from Valad Property Group, The Australian noted.

“The vision for Pentridge Coburg has long been to deliver an activated urban village that introduces integrated residential, food, retail and travel experiences to the area,” Shayher Group spokesman Anthony Goh said.

“The hotel plays a key role in sensitively reopening this historic asset in a way for the entire community to experience and appreciate.

“In developing these plans, we have taken inspiration from projects in the US and UK that readapted jails into beautiful accommodation, paying tribute to the past by repositioning them for the future,” he added.

Hotel guests will be able to stay in converted prison cells while the prison’s former chapel will be available for weddings and functions.

The former prison is listed the Victorian Heritage Register and has a requirement that its historical elements be restored, says the AFR.

So far Shayher has invested more than $2 million into various restoration works, including the refurbishment the iconic guard towers

The 16-hectare Pentridge grounds were subdivided after the prison, which once housed notorious criminals such as Ned Kelly and Mark “Chopper” Read, closed in 1997.

The redeveloped property is due to open late next year.

Pentridge Prison is not the only former jailhouse to get gentrified. Brisbane’s infamous Boggo Road has also been slated for a $300 million urban renewal project.