10/10/2006 - 22:00

Tenant mix shift for Shafto Lane

10/10/2006 - 22:00

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Once considered a commercial blind spot in the heart of the city’s west end, Shafto Lane is now sharing in the spoils of a tight office market, boasting almost full occupancy and a growing lunch-time crowd.

Tenant mix shift for Shafto Lane

Once considered a commercial blind spot in the heart of the city’s west end, Shafto Lane is now sharing in the spoils of a tight office market, boasting almost full occupancy and a growing lunch-time crowd.

The lane crosses the divide between Murray and Hay streets and is an eclectic thoroughfare of two-storey offices, alfresco restaurants and cafes, boutique stores, and Irish pub Durty Nellys.

In its May 2006 survey of CBD pedestrian movements, the Property Council of Australia (WA) found Shafto Lane had the largest increase in pedestrian counts between 12.30pm and 2pm compared with any other area since its first survey in 2003, growing 22 per cent to 1,070 observations.

CB Richard Ellis property manager for Shafto Lane, Lincoln Delahunt, said its success had come with the arrival of quality food outlets such as Taka’s Japanese Kitchen, Italian Café Bocca, Seoul BBQ Cafe and vegetarian restaurant Organica, all of which were attracting the west end corporate crowd.

“We’re definitely seeing a shift in population from the central CBD out to Milligan Street. The influx of employees from the new Woodside building has been great for the area, and the population is growing all the time,” Mr Delahunt said.

He said that while the precinct had struggled to attract visitors and tenants during his seven years in the position at CB Richard Ellis, in the past two years it had posted 60 per cent growth in rental returns.

The result is due in part to the arrival of up-market furniture store Natuzzi on the Hay Street side, international bag retailer Crumpler, and Mortgage Choice.

“Four years ago, a shop like Crumpler would not have survived in Shafto Lane but after almost a year there, they have taken a lease for another four years,” Mr Delahunt said.

Other established tenants along the lane include Jetset Travel, Kathmandu, Jackson’s Drawing Supplies, Scene Models, Fantastic Planet Books, Paddy Pallin, and Douglas HiFi.

Up on the first floor, quantity surveyors Currie & Brown have taken a further 150 square metres of space to add to the existing long-term lease over a 250sq m office.

Last year, the firm was faced with the dilemma of finding new space after it outgrew its original office, and considered moving into an office tower.

Joint director Mark Hampson said the business quickly took up the additional space when it became available in Shafto Lane, with refurbishment currently under way.

“Our office has advantages over a tower because the rental costs are significantly lower, it’s close to St Georges Terrace and we have a balcony and verandah with a green, leafy outlook…it’s a lifestyle choice to be here and a better environment for staff,” he said.

“The only disadvantages to the lane, he said, was the limited parking and the state of the common areas, toilets, lighting and signage, which were in need of an upgrade.

It is understood the lane’s Malaysian owners are considering a major upgrade to entrances and external surfaces as well as landscaping along laneways.

The 3,348sq m Shafto Lane precinct also has bonus plot ratio, potentially allowing the development of a 10-storey building.

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