Ashmore City, which is currently undergoing a multimillion-dollar makeover, is about to get its heart pumping even harder with plans that will transform it into a major medical and allied-health precinct.
The move is part of a long-term strategic repositioning of the shopping centre as one of the central Gold Coast’s major retail and services destinations.
The first step is the planned relocation of existing tenant Ashmore City Medical Centre to 313sqm of space within Ashmore City proper.
The medical centre currently occupies a freestanding building outside of the main shopping centre and it is moving into the tenancy formerly occupied by Chempro.
Ashmore City Medical Centre has taken a 10-year lease on the space, bringing it closer to other medical tenants including Ashmore Optical and Chempro which has relocated within the centre.
Angelo Efstathis, the managing director of centre manager First Asset Management, said the move was aimed at reactivating the middle of the centre and further improve customer convenience.
“Ashmore City has always supported a wide range of medical tenancies and this is part of a plan to bring them under the one roof for the benefit of medical centre patients, shopping centre customers and retail tenants,” said Mr Efstathis.
“It’s about getting the balance right between service-based tenants and specialty retail tenants,” he said.
“Once the changes are in place, we will be directing some 175 patients a day within the main centre, which is expected to filter through to the trading performances of Drakes, Chempro, Stacks and our other speciality tenants.”
Ashmore City Medical Centre is planning a $350,000 fit-out for the new premises, which comes on the heels of the $2.5 million upgrade currently under way by the centre owner and a $750,000 refurbishment by ANZ Bank.
“With this important piece in place we can now leverage off the improved tenancy mix to develop a strong medical and allied-health precinct together with other specialty retail offerings within the main shopping centre,” said Mr Efstathis.
The changes are also expected to improve Saturday trade volumes across the centre, building on Ashmore City’s strength as a working-week destination.
Penny Palmer, the practice manager at Ashmore City Medical Centre, said the move into the centre proper would improve convenience for patients by bringing medical facilities and services within Ashmore City under the one roof.
“For the first time we will have under-cover access to the clinic for patients via the rear carpark as well as wheelchair access,” she said.
“It’s about improving the customer experience as it will allow our patients to more freely stroll around the centre while waiting for their appointment.”
Ms Palmer said the new Ashmore City Medical Centre would deliver state-of-the-art facilities to better service disabled and elderly patients. The relocation will also offer further scope to grow the business.
“We already have five GPs in our team and we expect this will increase over time,” she said.
Ashmore City Medical Centre is expected to start operating from its new location in early October.
As part of the Ashmore City masterplan, the existing medical centre building will be converted into a professional services centre to complement established tenancies.
Meanwhile, the $2.5 million upgrade currently under way at Ashmore City is expected to be completed well before Christmas.
The capital works include a complete exterior facelift, as well as improved amenities including a new parents’ room and upgraded accessible amenities for shoppers.
Ashmore City has 40 tenancies and is anchored by Drakes Supermarket, Chempro, Stacks Variety, Liquorland and Australia Post. It is also home to five major banks, including ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, NAB, Westpac and Bank of Queensland.