Hobsons Bay’s first major cinema complex is set to open in Altona North by mid 2020 as part of the city’s biggest shopping and commercial centre development.

Property fund manager Charter Hall is building the $70 million centre at 290-298 Millers Road, which is the last stage of the $250 million Millers Junction precinct.

The six-screen, 3000 square metre cinema complex will be next to a Woolworths-anchored shopping centre whose confirmed tenants include BWS and The Reject Shop.

Millers Junction Retail is the fourth stage of the Millers Junction precinct, which also includes a business park and homemaker centre.

Charter Hall diversified development head Ben Dodwell said the cinema operator was expected to be revealed in coming weeks.

“We’re in the final stages of negotiation,” he said. “We’ve sought and received consent from council for the usage and we’re very excited about the prospect of opening it in the first half of next year.

“It will be a full-scale cinema.”

The next closest cinemas are Village at Pacific Werribee and Sunshine, Sun Theatre in Yarraville and Hoyts at Highpoint.

Mr Dodwell said a cinema filled a gap in Hobsons Bay, particularly for younger people.

“We have been chasing entertainment and a really good anchor for the centre that pitches into the desire to keep local people local,” he said.

“We’ve been pushing for that for some time.

“We think it’s a tremendous idea and we thought the idea was strong enough to present it to council and seek approval.”

Mr Dodwell said upon completion, Millers Junction Retail would have about 13,700 square metres of shopping space including the supermarket and liquor store, specialty shops, large format retail showrooms, cinema, ‘quick service’ restaurants and a possible further 9000 square metre commercial and retail space proposed along Cabot Drive, which is subject to council approval.

“We’ve always seen Altona as being a hub of activity,” Mr Dodwell said. “The key to it is to be honourable to its original roots as being an industrial precinct and to create an urban renewal of what was a formerly industrial precinct.

“We have, for some time, been trying to respond to council’s desire to create more leisure and activity-based things for local residents to stay local.”

Star Weekly, Maribyrnong & Hobsons Bay, 27 August 2019.