The history of enex is as rich as the fashionistas who have graced its halls over the years. The Hay Street facade of the building is the former William Sandover Building (also known as the ‘Coles Building’), which was designed by the architectural firm of Hobbs, Smith & Forbes in the early 20th century. Excited by by the discovery of gold in Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie in the 1890s, the company flourished; supplying machinery and hardware to the oncoming stream of hopeful prospectors. Unfortunately, the original building was damaged in a 1907 fire and was replaced with a new building. This remained as the home of Sandovers department store until the company finally closed its doors in the late 20th century. To this day, the facade remains standing and can be seen from the Hay Street Mall.
Over the years, the St George’s Terrace side of the site has been occupied by a number of buildings. First opening as a branch of the Union bank in 1885, the site’s neighbours quickly set up; including a seven storey New Zealand Insurance Company building in 1927 and a six storey airways house in 1933. In May 1963, The Union Bank (now the ANZ) vacated the site to begin the construction of a new 14 storey replacement building, which was completed in 1965. A park and a large toy store held the site throughout the ‘90s, until 2004 when redevelopment plans put forward by Incitec and ISPT were approved by the City of Perth. At the time, the project was the largest retail development seen in the Perth CBD since Forrest Chase was completed in 1989.
During construction, the retail site’s name was changed from ‘Century City’ in favour of ‘enex100’. The enex complex officially opened on the 14th of September, 2009, with an exclusive party featuring internationally-renowned DJ Havana Brown. The enex experience hasn’t stopped putting smiles on the faces of Perth’s fashion elite ever since.