Shopping is only one aspect of this shopping centre
Change is afoot in the Dandenong Plaza as the Myer Department store has left the building. Myer first opened in Dandenong in 1974, when it was built as a stand alone store; in 1989 the Dandenong Plaza was built adjoining Myer.
The old entrance to what was once Myer in the Dandenong Plaza Shopping Centre
Dandenong Plaza is a little different to the other major shopping centres such as Bayside Shopping Centre, Chadstone Shopping Centre and Westfield Southland as the centre seems to invite the people in, welcome them to stay and support the local community.
The plaza is owned by The GPT Group which might explain why the plaza is different from the other major shopping centres; their website talks about connecting communities and sustainability. These values are expressed in how the centre operates and engages with the community.
It has a multi faith room, a giant roaming chess board that at present is situated in front of Woolworths and there are always groups huddled around the chess board focused on the game at hand. There are also various children's activities, which seem to pop up spontaneously; at the moment there is a a toddler's activity centre just outside Target.
There is even a playgroup that meets every Thursday from 10am to 12pm outside the now defunct Myer on Level 3 (during school terms only). Plus the Plaza Pacers Walking Group meet up every Thursday morning from 7.30am to 8.30am outside the old Myer site on Level 2. The group is run by a YMCA trainer.