Alex Alamsyah, senior director, retail leasing, Knight Frank, said he does not believe Sydney CBD landlords chase food retailers over apparel retailers, as the former can’t pay prime rents in Pitt/George/King/Market and Martin Place. ‘‘But they are taking secondary streets like York/Clarence/Kent Streets, as evidenced by the many small wine bars/cafes/restaurants in those streets,’’ Mr Alamsyah said. ‘‘However, food outlets are willing to pay the higher rents in George Street, with Starbucks and Gloria Jean’s, paying about $400,000 to $500,000 per annum for 100-150 square metre sites.
Mr Ainsworth added that market stall holders are also moving into traditional CBD laneways and other space, which was once the domain of apparel retailers. ‘‘Simply Spanish and Koyhas come from the South Melbourne and Queen Vic markets and are looking at kiosk-style leases at the new St James area in Collins Street,’’ Mr Ainsworth said. ‘‘The inflow of the new international brands and opening of the centres, such as Emporium, has also reduced vacancy and we see that trend continuing.
Zelman Ainsworth and Cam Taranto, retail leasing managers at CBRE, Melbourne, said the entry of the food tenants had ‘‘revolutionised’’ the city precinct. ‘‘We have seen new groups, such as Huxtaburger, Charlie Dumplings, Miss Chu and Soup Place, among many others, have all entered the Melbourne CBD, with more to follow,’’ Mr Ainsworth said. ‘‘These hipster restaurants are popular as they provide a point of difference and an experience, which is what consumers now want.
Read more here: SMH