OMTrak has been selected by Colonial First State and their managing contractors Grocon, for the O&M’s and Defects Management on the $1.16 billion Melbourne Emporium project. Emporium Melbourne will host 225 stores of premium retail space in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD.
Set to open in late 2013, Emporium Melbourne will feature a mix of Australian and International designers, innovative concept and flagship stores and world class architecture. The complex will also link with the Myer Melbourne department store and to David Jones via pedestrian bridges and tunnels.
Located on Lonsdale Street, Emporium Melbourne is at the heart of the city centre and will offer access to train stations, Melbourne Central and Flinders Street. The centre promises to deliver a world class retail experience effortlessly integrating a fusion of fashion, culture, food and art.
History of the prestigious store…
Simcha (Sidney) Baevski was born in Russia in 1878, the youngest of 11 children. In 1898 Sidney emmigrated to Australia where he joined his brother in Melbourne. In 1901, after having adopted the family name of Myer (the second name of their eldest brother), Sidney and his brother Elcon established a drapery store in Bendigo. In 1911, Myer decided to establish a store in Melbourne, and in April he purchased the long-established drapery business of Wright & Neil at 314-320 Bourke St, between Swanston and Elizabeth St. After closing for 2 weeks, Myer re-opened the store with Melbourne’s 1st Myer sale.
The Lonsdale St store incorporated 2 early factories built by Myer in the centre of the site between 1912 & 1914. From the early 1920’s Myer began to acquire a number of buildings from 297-317 Lonsdale St, and plans were made for the complete redevelopment of the properties.
Construction of the new 11 story Lonsdale St development, designed by H W & F B Tompkins, began in 1925. The architectural practice of H W & FB Tompkins was responsible for a number of large commercial buildings constructed in Melbourne between 1900 & 1940. The South African brothers designed many major commercial and warehouse buildings including the Ball & Welch Building, Flinders Lane (1906), Dimmeys Stores, Richmond (1906-7 and 1910) and Centreway Arcade, Collins St (1911).
The first section of the Lonsdale St store extending from Post Office Place opened in 1926, with an extension to the east opening in 1929. During the early 1930s, Sidney Myer undertook a reconstruction and expansion program of the Myer Bourke St store, which was designed by HW &FB Tompkins. The completion and integration of the Bourke and Lonsdale St stores achieved a unity described as ‘A Cathedral of Commerce’ by a Sydney journal, and they were two of the largest buildings in the central city area. Sidney Myer died suddenly in 1934, but the development of the Emporium continued through the 1930’s and 1940’s. In 1935, the Bourke and Lonsdale St basements were joined by two subways under Little Bourke St, allowing customers and goods to be moved separately from one store to another without having to exit the Emporium.
Today 75 years later the Emporium Melbourne will once again occupy the position as Melbourne’s premier retail centre promising to deliver a world class retail experience effortlessly integrating a fusion of fashion, culture, food and art.