Fortius Funds Management has aimed to revitalise its Home HQ Homemaker Centre with today’s official opening of an urban farm-food inspired food and beverage (F&B) oasis, Acre Artarmon, which delivers a unique, modern and sustainable new dining and entertainment offering to Sydney’s lower north shore.
The $7 million investment transformed Home HQ with the addition of Acre Artarmon – a stunning farm-food inspired restaurant bar, café bakery and event space. Set within sprawling indoor and outdoor productive gardens, the open-air urban oasis features local and exotic fruit trees, a kitchen garden, vertical plantings and hydroponic growing systems, planted pergolas, picnic style areas, a kids’ playground and chicken coop. Fresh herbs, flowers and fruit grown on-site will be used to produce delicious artisan bakery products, café/restaurant/wedding and event menus, homemade pizzas, garden-inspired cocktails and beverages.
From guided tours, chefs’ demonstrations, long lunches and meet-the-maker tastings to twilight gardening and kid’s programs, Acre Artarmon is set to offer unique experiences and will reposition Artarmon’s ten-year-old Homemaker Centre as an exciting and unique destination that will attract Sydneysiders far beyond its Lower North Shore catchment.
Sarah Womack, CBRE Retail Property Management’s Centre Manager for Home HQ Artarmon, shared that retailer confidence in the centre had soared during the most difficult period of their trading histories with the addition of the new 1,800m2 food and beverage venue being built on-site.
“While Home HQ Artarmon already performs strongly, the addition of Acre Artarmon will be a game changer for the centre and local Lower North Shore area which, until now, has been lacking food and beverage opportunities of this calibre,” she said.
Part of the Home HQ shopping destination in Artarmon, which is owned by Fortius, the new Acre Artarmon has drawn comparisons to a modern greenhouse. Its farm-to-table restaurant, café and bar are housed in an open, sleek, glass encased space unlike anything else in Sydney.
“Already attracting in excess of 700,000 shoppers annually, the impressive existing line-up of established homemaker brands together with the new Acre Artarmon will most certainly attract a new customer to the centre,” stated Sam Sproats, CEO, Fortius. “Acre Artarmon is an innovative F&B operator, committed to partnering with local producers to create unique destination venues. The Acre team has a number of notable and established restaurant precincts including Acre Camperdown and Acre Burwood in Melbourne.
“We’re very pleased to deliver this multi-million-dollar investment with such energetic, innovative and inspiring retail partners. With a limited number of good quality dining options on the Lower North Shore and significant demand from a thriving business district, acre Artarmon is a brilliant fit,” said Sproats.
Retail specialist Mainbrace Constructions was integral in bringing the concept to life. Mainbrace was involved in the project from the early design stages and completed the base build, façade and services for the restaurant under a design and construction contract. Conversion of the existing car park into a new dining precinct in the context of a busy, live environment was one of the challenges.
Mainbrace Managing Director, Rob Doust, congratulated all project partners on the official opening. “This is a truly innovative project and Mainbrace is proud to have played a key role in its delivery,” he said. “As specialists in retail construction, we’re fortunate to work with some progressive businesses focused on new and interesting ways of operating, and the team behind the new Acre Artarmon certainly falls into that category.
“It is critical in the current climate to ensure minimal disruption to other businesses and tenancies when undertaking major works, and Mainbrace’s specialist capability in structuring projects to enable neighbouring businesses to remain open and trading was important to the successful delivery of Acre Artarmon at Home HQ,” added Doust.
The project created 180 jobs through the development and construction phase and a further 40 jobs in hospitality upon its recent completion.