13/11/2007 - 22:00

Suburban centres pay their own way

13/11/2007 - 22:00

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With Western Australia’s growing population and economy, retail investors and developers are looking at the state’s neighbourhood shopping centres in a new light.

With Western Australia’s growing population and economy, retail investors and developers are looking at the state’s neighbourhood shopping centres in a new light.

According to a recent Retail Development survey by Lease Equity, several neighbourhood shopping centres are earmarked for expansion, due in part to retailer demands for larger tenancies and a greater destination-style retail experience.

Neighbourhood centres typically have a total retail floor area of less than 10,000sq m, occupied by a supermarket and approximately 35 specialty stores.

Among the neighourhood centres due to offer a greater retail offering next year, the survey revealed Broome Boulevard was expanding by 6,435sq m, Carramar Village (5,250sq m), Pinjarra Junction (6,000sq m) and Stockland Fremantle (4,732sq m).

Brookdale Plaza is due to expand by 10,000sq m in early 2009, while Wellard Village is set for an extra 5,000sq m by late 2010, and Waterford Plaza by an extra 5,360sq m in 2011.

The owners of Secret Harbour Shopping Centre are also understood to be considering another expansion to the complex next year.

Lease Equity portfolio director commercial leasing Adam Musbah told a Property Council of Australia (WA) retail conference last week that the retail development boom in WA was being sparked by the aggressive expansion plans of the supermarket chains, and the increasing demands of ‘mini-majors’ such as Best & Less, JB HiFi, Rebel Sport, who were now seeking tenancies greater than 400 square metres.

“Retailers are seeking to be a part of a more destination-style retailing experience,” he said.

“Department stores are also expanding their numbers and the types of centres that they are expanding into.”

In total, the survey found 37 retail centres of various sizes were currently being developed or redeveloped.

Over 210,000 square metres of retail floor space is expected to enter the market been now and 2011, at a total cost of over $1.4 billion, the survey found.

Those centres set for the largest expansions include Lakeside Joondalup, Claremont Quarter, Wanneroo Central and Rockingham City Shopping Centre.

Mr Musbah believed limiting factors to WA’s retail development included labour and material shortages, strong commercial development demand, and delays in public infrastructure projects.

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