Top Ryde Shopping Centre

(1) Demolition of the old Top Ryde shopping centre and redevelopment of a new shopping centre

A DA was lodged by Bevillesta Pty Ltd in 2006 and approved by the Ryde Council in 2007

  • Two lower ground retail levels
  • One ground floor retail level at Devlin Street
  • Two levels above ground for retail, cinemas, community and other recreational uses
  • Carparking levels for the retail for 3025 cars.

In December 2006 I wrote in my submission:

“To demolish an entire shopping center and build a completely new one is a bold step. It requires that all factors for a successful investment have been considered and that everything is right. And not just for the next years, but for several decades to come. It’s not only the architecture, the visual and functional aspects of designs, the desire for a new look, but the long-term economic viability and sustainability of the whole project.

Unfortunately, we live in changing times and we slowly realize that we cannot continue business as usual. And that Mother Nature will physically force us to observe her laws, no matter what our opinions are. Oil supplies, water shortages, crop failures, bush fires, global warming and sea level rises all represent factors which have to be considered when doing investments. This submission argues these issues have not been properly investigated in the current development proposal.”

I also attended a meeting of the Independent Hearing and Assessment Panel and warned NOT to pull down the old shopping centre and NOT to build 3,000 car spaces.

My submission can be downloaded here:

(2) Opening Ceremony August 2010

Gillard opens Top Ryde City

Revitalisation of Top Ryde City

(3) Top Ryde Shopping Centre in financial problems 4 years after my submission

Debt-laden shopping centre for sale


THE shopping centre tycoon who redeveloped Top Ryde Shopping Centre has been forced to put his debt-laden centre up for sale after pressure from his bankers.

The sale by the developer John Beville comes three months after the Prime Minister opened the shopping complex, and a day after one of his lenders said it expected it would not recover any part of its $110 million loan.

The centre, which contains a Myer department store, a Big W and dozens of other specialty stores, was touted to be worth $840 million three years ago. Yesterday it was put on the sale block with expectations of about $700 million.

A syndicate of banks are first in the queue to be repaid their loans from the proceeds, leaving second-tier lender Valad Property Group unlikely to recover anything due to a slump in the value of centres due to poor retail sales and rising interest rates.


SMH 17/11/2010

The decision by the troubled property group Valad (aka Invalid) to leave it until after its annual meeting to write off another chunk of its property portfolio has finally pushed one of its shareholders over the edge.

”This is the last straw as far as I’m concerned,” said Valad’s former managing director and founder, Barry Wynne, in reference to the company’s decision (without telling the market) to cut its $92 million mezzanine loan position on the Top Ryde shopping centre.

”The small shareholders, I think, can assemble a group because it’s obscene,” said Wynne, who has seen the value of his stake fall from about $8 million to about $250,000.

”This is the third year we’ve had no dividends and our asset backing has dropped again.”

He has expressed outrage not only at the company’s falling fortunes but also its ballooning pay packets. While Gerber saw his chairman’s and consulting fees from Valad rise 70 per cent to $680,000 last financial year, Valad’s managing director, Peter Hurley, recently received a $1.88 million retention payment. Hurley’s annual base wage of $799,000 is still up from the $299,425 he was paid in his first full financial year at Valad, 2003-04.

The Valad director Robert Seidler also enjoyed a 135 per cent rise in consulting and director fees to about $400,000 last financial year.

(4) Receivers called in as huge Top Ryde Shopping Centre runs up $700 m debt six months after opening

THE Top Ryde Shopping Centre has fallen victim to weak consumer spending just six months after the Prime Minister opened the massive complex.

A syndicate of four banks foreclosed on the newly renovated centre on Wednesday after the retail development tycoon John Beville was unable to meet the repayments on hefty loans used to give the centre a facelift.

Many of the centre’s speciality stores have been hard hit by the decline in consumer spending over the past year. Bureau of Statistics figures for the December quarter reveal that shops selling footwear, watches and jewellery, takeaway coffee, flowers, sporting goods, toys and video games had been hardest hit.

Mr Beville does not have the same financial muscle as big players such as Westfield, and his lenders tried to sell the centre in November but received no offers.

The centre, which contains a Myer store, a Big W and more than 250 specialty stores, was touted to be worth $840 million three years ago, but is now believed to be worth less than $700 million

The centre has been owned by the family for a decade before being expanded. It was developed as an alternative to the Macquarie Shopping Centre in North Ryde and the Rhodes Shopping Centre.

Mr Beville, 67, from Darling Point got into financial trouble when the renovation budget for Top Ryde blew out and he was forced to borrow more money. When he had to repay the loans he was unable to pass on the higher costs to his tenants with rent rises.

(5)  Top Ryde still without rail connection

And why was the light rail CBD – Top Ryde – West Ryde on Victoria Rd not built which I proposed in a meeting with Maxine (picture up, with PM Gillard)  in her Gladesville office in early 2008, as a solution to peak oil?

Maxine later became Parliamentary Secretary for Infrastructure. So this project could have entered the project pipeline just like the Gold Coast light rail, with a construction start before the 2010 election.

May 12, 2009

THE Gold Coast has gained a major economic boost from the 2009 Federal Budget winning $365 million for the light rail project.

To this very day, Top Ryde has no rail connection. How will this centre compete with Macquarie and Rhodes, both with rail stations near by, in a period of declining oil production?