28/10/2014 - 14:08

WA in middle of retail space squeeze

28/10/2014 - 14:08

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WA in middle of retail space squeeze
The state's shopping centres are evolving to include more than just retail space. Photo: Attila Csaszar

Expansion of Western Australia’s retail space is not keeping up with the state’s population growth, falling short by around 200,000 square metres, according to a new survey by the Property Council of Australia.

The Property Council’s 2014 WA Shopping Centre Survey showed Perth needed the equivalent of three new major regional shopping centres, like Westfield Carousel or Karrinyup Shopping Centre, to keep pace with the influx of new residents.

The survey found there were 251 shopping centres in WA, down 23 from the same time five years ago.

However, the average size of WA shopping centres increased by 8.3 per cent over the same time period.

The biggest increase, according to the survey, occurred in Perth's CBD, which added a further 27.9 per cent of retail space over the past five years.

The total retail space in WA is 285,543sqm, equating to 813sqm of retail space per 1,000 people, which is 8 per cent below the long-term average.

Property Council WA executive director Joe Lenzo said the survey revealed a trend towards larger centres that provided greater amenity for shoppers.

“WA is in the middle of a major shopping centre expansion phase, including additions to existing centres and construction of new centres,” Mr Lenzo said.

“This is the result of the shortage of retail space in WA.”

Large retail expansions currently under construction in Perth include: Lakeside Joondalup Shopping City, which is adding 25,000sqm; Baldivis Shopping Centre, which is adding 29,500sqm; and the third stage of Cockburn Gateway Shopping City, which is adding 20,000sqm.

In total, about 124,500sqm of additional retail space is currently being built across the metropolitan area.

In the planning pipeline there are major expansions flagged at Garden City Booragoon, the Mandurah Forum, Morley Galleria, Kingsway City Shopping Centre and Halls Head Central.

Projects in the planning phase total around 143,000sqm.

Lease Equity managing director Jim Tsagalis said the proposed developments were consistent with trading performance, population growth and easing of planning legislation.

“WA shopping centres will continue to evolve to meet consumer requirements and also be the focus of Perth’s new activity centre-based plan for the city’s future growth,” he said.

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