Stockland Traralgon changing name

Liam Durkin

SHOPPERS in Traralgon will notice a difference to the town’s shopping centre in coming weeks, with Stockland Traralgon set to be rebranded Traralgon Centre Plaza.

The change is a throwback to the centre’s original namesake, after Stockland held the asset since the early 2000s.

Stockland confirmed to The Express it had sold its interest in the centre to Melbourne-based Fawkner Property for $85 million.

The purchase was completed in late March by Essential Services Trust No. 15, an Australian managed investment scheme registered under the Corporations Act 2001.

Fawkner Property is the responsible entity of the fund and holds an Australian Financial Services Licence for this purpose.

Fawkner Property managing director Owen Lennie said the company was excited by the prospect the centre holds.

“Fawkner Property is delighted with the purchase of Traralgon Centre Plaza and we look forward to a long and productive relationship with the people of the Latrobe Valley, as customers, contractors, tenants and neighbours,” he said.

Fawkner Property intends to pursue a localisation strategy for the centre that includes leasing to local businesses and franchisees, advertising in local media and contracting locally.

The localisation strategy will also ensure money from the centre is distributed back into the community.

The company said the first step in this policy was the renaming of the centre to Traralgon Centre Plaza and the hiring of local staff to manage and market the centre.

The rebranding process is expected to be undertaken in the next few weeks, with an official opening on Tuesday, May 4.

Fawkner Property director of distribution Shane Wakelin said the centre had many attractions.

“It’s a high quality shopping centre, it is 100 per cent tenanted,” he said.

“Based on the data we have the centre is performing really well post-COVID and we think that will continue with our expertise as well.

“The community will get a clear understanding of who we are and our personal approach.

“One thing we’ve spoken a lot about internally is being respectful of the local community.”

Wakelin, the former Collingwood and St Kilda defender, said the community had reason to trust in the direction Fawkner Property was taking the centre.

“We’re not a fund manager that’s going to come in and turn the shopping centre upside down,” he said.

“I played AFL footy for 15 years and I understand the tall poppy syndrome very well.

“When you are a new person in town people are pretty quick to knock you down, that’s why we are very serious about communicating the fresh start to the community, but we are also letting different influential community people know who we are and what we do.”

In keeping with the community feel, Adele Nardino has been engaged as marketing manager for the new initiative.

Ms Nardino is familiar with the centre, having previously served the same role with Stockland.