Vicinity Centres’ CEO post: From Grant Kelley’s to Peter Huddle

Vicinity Centres

When Novion and Federation Centres merged in 2015, the rebranded enterprise was named Vicinity Centres. It became one of Australia’s largest real estate investment funds.

They specialize in acquiring and developing areas for shopping centers. Vicinity currently manages more or less 60 retail spots in the country and employs thousands of employees.

Grant Kelley as CEO

In 2018, Kelley joined the Vicinity team as the Chief Executive Officer. His duties included implementing the company’s long-term plans and supervising the overall operation of the firm.

He already had decades of experience in real estate and investments before landing the spot with Vicinity Centres. His insights and natural quick-wittedness played a major role in his 5-year stay.

The Pandemic Crisis

Being a big enterprise did not exempt Vicinity from the onslaught of the covid19 pandemic. Operations has to stop amidst the lockdowns and social restrictions.

Industries specialty related to hospitality and those relying on foot traffic for movement on sales were devastatingly affected. It took a year for the world to slowly work its way into recovery.

The government had eased some health policies and businesses started getting back on their feet. Even after the easements, people were still cautious of health risks and took some time to get back to normal.

Road Towards Recovery

Grant Kelley headed Vicinity’s executive team during this time. While there was no helping the economic halt that transpired, he was quick to jump into the game after the pandemic’s wave slowed down.

Even after experiencing a massive loss of income during the pandemic, they saw 2022 as a chance for a rebound and treated the sales as a win for the company.

The prolonged lockdowns had put into test the financial stewardship prowess of Kelley’s team. His management style displayed prudence and did everything to secure a stable position throughout the span of his tenure.

Vicinity’s strategy also did not stop with recovery but also looks at opportunities to expand its operations. 60 years in the business and a sign of decline in efforts is still yet to show.

The enterprise has been exploring opportunities for mixed-used development pipelines. They offer office spaces and residential hubs inside or in close proximity to their shopping centers.

Grant’s Retirement

After 5 years of service to the shopping center development giant, Grant Kelley has stepped down from the CEO position. Peter Huddle, Vicinity’s previous Chief Operations Officer (COO) has been appointed to replace Kelley on February 2023.

He still holds a central position in Holdfast Assets, a private-equity fund engrossed in acquiring key assets in Australia’s southern region. Included in Holdfast’s portfolio is the freehold of Adelaide Sixers of the NBL (National Basketball League) where Kelley also bears chairmanship.

Huddle’s Appointment

While veteran Kelley left Peter Huddle a good starting point for growing Vicinity to new heights, he has expressed his concern about the increasing interest rates and cost of living for Australian households. He remains hopeful, though, that shopping centers and overall real estate ventures have an advantage due to the growing savings rate and growth in household income.

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