The much-anticipated $142 million new wing of Marrickville Metro is due to open tomorrow, June 10, with more than a dozen new eateries; 40 lifestyle, fitness, beauty and convenience retailers; a Coles supermarket; a gym; and a huge new liquor store. Located across the road from the original building, the Smidmore Street development – in a revamped disused warehouse – will be accessible via a pedestrian bridge and a street-level walkway. It’ll add 455 car parks to the centre, bringing the total to 1473.

“We are essentially taking the convenience element of the typical shopping centre by having everything you could possibly need under the one roof (well two roofs with the existing centre), but still keeping that local connection by working with small businesses,” Stuart Norman, the development’s project leasing manager, tells Broadsheet. “As much as that word [authentic] can be overused, locals are looking for authentic experiences and they’ll run a mile if something appears too commercial or generic.”

Among the new indoor and outdoor eateries at the reinvigorated Metro are an outpost of St Peters Vietnamese diner Rice Pantry; a third outlet for The Grumpy Italian; Motto Motto (a popular Japanese fast-food eatery from Queensland); Kurtosh, the bakery known for its Hungarian-style chimney pastry; and Wagyu-steak joint Firestone. There’s also C9 Gelato, Shepherds Artisan Bakehouse, Sushi Maru, Raman (a Lebanese eatery) and Coco Fresh Tea & Juice.

Plus, the precinct is adding even further variety to its already hefty grocery-shopping offering: a Coles is joining the Metro’s other supermarkets: Woolworths, Aldi and Panetta Mercato. The latter is moving from its existing space into the new development. The Coles will offer a range of plant-based options, and foods nearing their expiry date will be donated to Secondbite, a not-for-profit that distributes unsold food to agencies and food programs that then pass the goods onto those experiencing food insecurity. Miracle Supermarket, currently across the way from Woolworths, will also be moving to the new site. Shoppers can also expect a new fishmonger, butcher and chicken shop (Karl’s Charcoal Chicken, from the same operators as Granville’s Hawa Charcoal Chicken), as well as a Liquor Emporium, stocked with more than 500 types of craft beer, organic and natural wines, and non-alcoholic booze.

The Metro is also adding to its currently rather limited range of fashion, lifestyle and beauty retailers. Marrickville Road’s art and design store Hypmotive will open its second store in the centre, with its curated selection of homewares, jewellery, clothes and other bits and bobs made by independent artists and makers. Also expect a 24/7 Bodyfit gym, a pet-grooming salon and a barber.

“Everything about the project has incorporated the local community – from the heritage facade, to the small, family-run businesses that are involved, to the local art program,” says Norman. “We’ve also collaborated with local community centres such as Reverse Garbage, Inner West Council and Lil’Crafters for launch weekend and will continue to do so throughout school holidays and other times throughout the year. The inner west is blessed with so many incredible businesses and eateries, but the main street of Marrickville is quite stretched out and a central hub for the local community is lacking.”

The whole thing was designed by architects Hames Sharley. The warehouse’s facade has been maintained, and large-scale murals by artists Georgia Hill and Liz Shreeve are splashed across the outside. Inside, expect to find art as you ride the travelator, painted across furniture and on signage.

“You can’t pick up Marrickville Metro and plonk it in another suburb – it just wouldn’t work,” says Norman.

Marrickville Metro’s new hub will open on June 10 at 20 Smidmore Street, Marrickville.

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