Between Emporium launching in the CBD and the $665 million development of Eastland currently rolling out in Ringwood (with UNIQLO, H&M and popular eateries in tow), the team at Chadstone shopping centre has been very quiet.

Now we know why: it’s been holding back the big guns. It’s been waiting to deploy Lego.

Due to open in mid-2017, the first Legoland Discovery Centre in the Southern Hemisphere will cover 2800-square metres; what the Sydney Morning Herald describes as equal to 30 average-sized homes. There will be rides, play areas and a 4D cinema. The centres are designed to entertain three-to-10 year olds for up to three hours.

Chadstone is undergoing a $600 million redevelopment, which will include the addition of an adjoining office tower and apartments. Once finished, it will be the biggest mall in the country.

Note that a Legoland Discovery Centre is not the same as Legoland, the global chain of amusement parks. A Legoland Discovery Centre is a smaller, indoor version – think a Disneyland “Lite”.

Not actually fully owned by the Lego Group itself, the new Legoland Discovery Centre will be the latest in a network operated by British group Merlin Entertainment. There are nine in North America, four in Europe and two in Japan.

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