High street retail is on its way back, with the success of Angove Street providing a model for other town centres.
Angove Street in North Perth is emerging as one of the city’s hottest high streets, as an evolution in consumer behaviour and increased residential density revives demand for boutique retail and hospitality tenancies.
In the past 12 months, five apartment buildings totalling 150 dwellings have either been built or are under construction within walking distance of Angove Street.
A clear flow-on effect of the significant increase in the near-city suburb’s density, according to Axia Corporate Property director Adam Musbah, has been the transformation of its demographic.
Mr Musbah said North Perth historically had a more mature and gentrified population, but the wave of apartment development was driving the suburb’s evolution to cater for a much younger crowd.
“These people are much more inclined to go out and socialise away from their homes or apartments, and they’re certainly not afraid to spend their income on food and wine,” Mr Musbah told Business News.
“Retailers, especially those in the food and beverage arenas, perceive the North Perth precinct as a prime location to complement their business vision.”
Mr Musbah said the Rosemount Hotel was just about the only place to get a drink in the evening around Angove Street five years ago, while Milk’d stood alone as the strip’s only popular place for an eggs benedict in the morning.
However, Angove Street has become something of a hospitality hub, with hip and trendy venues such as The Old Laundry and The Office on Angove springing up to satisfy the demands of hungry and thirsty residents.
The street has also attracted a range of new boutique retailers, headlined by the Angove Street Collective, a collaborative retail space comprising nine separate businesses, ranging from homewares to coffee to a barber, all under the one roof.
Nearby, Satchmo Café and award-winning specialty coffee shop Addison & Steele round out the rapidly diversifying hospitality precinct.
“You only need one pioneer to come in, and it just changes the look of the whole strip,” Mr Musbah said.
“Without a doubt, it has been driven by the changing density and population, but a lot has to do with the changes in consumption and what we want.”
Mr Musbah is handling a leasing campaign for five additional retail tenancies on the ground floor of Saracen Properties’ Rose on Angove apartment project, which is expected to be completed before the end of the year.
He said the plan for the tenancies was to create a space that was activated not only for morning breakfast trade, but also into the late evening.
“We didn’t go straight to market, we spoke to most of the retailers along here and the common message was that ‘we’re looking for something with night-time trade’,” Mr Musbah said.
“When you come down here in the daytime, it’s bumping, but at night time you have a couple of restaurants and the Rosemount, but it’s lights out.”
“A successful shopping strip relies on a combination of multiple dining options, small bars for a drink and catch-up with friends plus fashion and gift shops for the experience of an outing,” Mr Hopkins said.
“Having the dining and entertainment options visual is really important, which means alfresco, quality shop fronts and fit-out design.”
Mr Hopkins said Angove Street, like other high streets such as South Terrace in South Fremantle and Albany Highway in East Victoria Park, had benefited from council support from a zoning perspective, as well as retailers looking for an alternative to higher rents in other precincts like Mount Lawley’s Beaufort Street.
“The popularity of North Perth is driven more so by good design, period architecture that has been preserved and enhanced, council support through the streetscape and zoning, plus, by comparison to places like Beaufort Street, the rents are attractive,” Mr Hopkins said.
“A lower rental rate supports new local business, especially in relatively high-risk areas like startup food and beverage and fashion.
“The focus on Beaufort Street Mount Lawley therefore has had a positive spin-off to nearby areas such as North Perth.”