I SAT down with Shane Wild from CBRE to discuss his role as Centre Manager of the newly opened Ripley Town Centre. In addition to feeling excited about the opportunity to be a part of such an exciting new project, Shane offered insights into his daily responsibilities, saying "I am responsible for overseeing the building management, marketing, promotions and retailer management across the centre. At CBRE we have a team of staff that will work hard to ensure that the Town Centre runs smoothly, that the tenants are supported and that together consumers, tenants and the community are happy to call the Town Centre theirs”.
Shane went on to say, "visitors can expect to see me in the Town Centre connecting with retailers about their daily operations. Collectively, the broader CBRE team and I are engaged in ensuring the centre is operating at a high standard and that there is a good mixture of suitable retailers for the centre, and that when visitors attend the centre they feel they are welcome, valued and really enjoy engaging socially in the space”.
When we discussed his previous professional experience, Shane advised that he had worked in a similar role as a centre manager in the Barossa Valley, South Australia, a region with a strong sense of community.
Shane expressed that he felt well equipped with the right skills and experience which had seen him work directly with the community, organisations and individuals. Shane acknowledged that working as a Centre Manager in the Barossa Valley had led him to have an "appreciation for the value of social capital - the philosophy or idea that business isn't just about money; it's the concept focusing on the value of reciprocity, trust and cooperation'.
Shane went on to tell me that he wanted the Town Centre to be so much more than a collection of retailers, saying "we want the centre to be a community space for the residents, the greater region and local organisations. It is about showing our support for local schools, churches, sporting clubs and organisations. My previous centre manager roles have really assisted me to see the value in investing in the culture of the centre; to cultivate a place that is embedded in weekly routines as the place to go”.
He continued saying "in my previous role I was active in the community. I had a strong presence on the floor with tenants and consumers, and was also aware and active in greater community events and boards”.
In our discussion, Shane was very keen to express how much he is looking forward to getting to know the Ripley region and cultivating strong connections here in the Ripley Town Centre.
Ripley Town Centre launched in spectacular fashion at the recent Main Street Festival. I wanted to talk to Shane about the next steps for the Town Centre. Shane advised that CBRE are very happy with the current tenants and that they are working hard to secure a greater variety of food and beverage retailers for the Town Centre.
When we discussed the unique layout and flow of the Town Centre, Shane offered that he was looking forward to activating all of the centre spaces, and creating activities and events that will attract the region, and provide the opportunity for the community to really connect with the Town Centre and make it their own.
”We have the opportunity and space to run a range of activities, such as school performances, children's activities, interesting workshops and classes, to heighten the convenience for customers to do their shopping and meet their social needs all in the one place,” Shane explained.
Shane's goal for Ripley residents and Town Centre goers is to see the Town Centre as more than a place to shop, and more of a meeting place - a place where the whole of Ripley can come together to connect in a meaningful way.
”It is a very exciting time for the region, and the next few months will bring an amazing opportunity for Ripley Town Centre tenants to really showcase their capacity to bring quality products and services to Ripley, which previously had very little.
Shane is keen to work closely with the retailers to support and promote their businesses and aid them in developing themselves as valuable services and retail outlets for the region that customers can rely on. Shane will work closely with tenants to market their business, and provide assistance in merchandising and coaching if needed.
"CBRE is also very proud to be part of the Ripley Town Centre, particularly given the strong focus on sustainability,” Shane explained to me. "The recently awarded 5 Star Green Star rating from the Green Building Council of Australia shows the passion of Sekisui House to be leading the way in sustainable building and design practices in the region”.
It is also a nice touch that Town Centre visitors can participate in the sustainable practice by parking underneath the car park solar panels, and can view the energy consumption savings metres, located on two screens within the centre.
Shane has advised that he welcomes the opportunity to get to know the Ripley community, and visitors should feel free to introduce themselves if they see him at the centre. Should the community want to stay connected with the Town Centre activities, Shane suggests that the Ripley Town Centre website will advertise the activities within the centre, and the Ripley Town Centre Facebook page will also be an easily accessible avenue to keep up to date with the centre's activities and individual retailers.
As a Community Development Officer in the Ripley region, I am very excited to find a like-minded colleague in Shane who sees the value in building the community culture of the Town Centre.
I can see that he will be a great asset for the Ripley region.