Goodbye Myer Centre, Hello Uptown: The CBD Shopping Centre Just Unveiled Its New Name
What's the Myer Centre without Myer? Now that the department store has officially closed, this Queen Street Mall spot has a new moniker.
August 02, 2023
In supremely Brisbane news, the River City was shocked back in March when Myer announced that it was moving out of its CBD store. Shutting up shop in Queen Street didn't just mean leaving the inner city — it meant saying goodbye to the Myer Centre, aka the retail complex that's been named after its key tenant since opening back in 1988.
The time for farewells has come, with Myer closing up shop in the Myer Centre after its last day of trading on Monday, July 31. In the aftermath, Vicinity Centres and ISPT, the two companies behind the shopping centre, have wasted no time in changing the building's name. So, meet Uptown.
Other than the big Myer-shaped gap across a hefty part of the complex, the centre is still the same — just with a different moniker. What will take over Myer's multi-floor tenancy is still yet to be revealed.
It likely wasn't among the choices, but The Dragon Coaster Centre — paying tribute to the beloved rollercoaster that used to sit at the top of the building — would've had a nice ring to it. For many Brisbanites, the spot has never been the same since it lost that attraction. Even if you aren't old enough to have lived through that pre-2000 era, you've probably always wondered what it was like.
Before Y2K, the CBD shopping complex's upper levels weren't home to cinemas and arcade games — they boasted an indoor theme park called Tops, including a ride that had everyone loving fire-breathing creatures before they'd ever heard of Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon. There's been rumours of the dragon coaster making a comeback over the years, but sadly nothing has ever eventuated.
Back to Myer: until now, the department store that the whole place is named after was the complex's central shop, but the company decided not to renew its lease.
"Myer has made the decision to depart the Myer Centre Brisbane at the end of its lease in July 2023," said Vicinity Centres and ISPT in a joint statement in March.
"Vicinity and ISPT were investigating a number of options for the centre including a downsized contemporary department store and plans without a department store, which we can now progress with certainty."
"We look forward to delivering a reimagined destination in the heart of Brisbane's evolving CBD and anticipate sharing our plans shortly."
"Whilst we remain committed to the Brisbane market, we have been unable to negotiate a reasonable commercial outcome with the landlord and as such will continue to look for an alternative CBD location," said Myer CEO John King at the time.
"We thank our team members for their service and will be providing redeployment opportunities at nearby stores."
"For our loyal customers, we will continue to serve the Brisbane area with our surrounding stores and our 24/7 online business while we explore future Brisbane CBD options, and we thank you for your ongoing loyalty."
Responding to the news when it was first revealed, Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said that "while this is a sad day for generations of Brisbane residents who have loved shopping at the Queen Street Mall Myer, it's also a great opportunity for our city centre."
"With the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games on the horizon, now is the perfect time for the centre's owners to reimagine one of Queensland's premier retail spaces."
"The Myer Centre once had live music on its lower levels, as well as a fun park at the top, and has always evolved and moved with the times. I think this is a fantastic opportunity for the centre to be reinvigorated into a vibrant, modern retail experience for residents and visitors and I look forward to working with the owners on their future plans."
Find Uptown at 91 Queen Street, Brisbane — and head to the centre's website for further details.
Top image: Maksym Kozlenko via Wikimedia Commons.
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