Wellington retail on the up and up as vacancy rates fall

  • Property
  • October 8, 2015
  • Elly Strang
Wellington retail on the up and up as vacancy rates fall

Demand for prime locations like Lambton Quay and Courtenay Pl is strong, with Lambton Quay’s vacancy rates experiencing the largest fall in vacancies from 2014.

The overall vacancy rate has fallen to 4.3 percent in 2015, down from 12.5 percent in 2014.

A number of stores are being refurbished along the strip in response to strong interest from international and leading national brands.

Australian retailer David Jones moving into Kirkcaldie & Stains’ shop space by mid-2016 is one example.

Keystone Group, which operates celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s chain, Jamie’s Italian, is another.

Bayleys reports there is also rumours that Zara will join the retail mix on the street.

Countdown is also refurbishing 1000 square metres of floor space at Cable Car Lane, a space which attracts the highest footfall count in the city. It’s aiming to open in 2016.

The retailer will also be developing a store in the Reading Courtenay Shopping Centre on Courtenay Pl. ANZ Bank is also moving into Whitcoulls former premises.

According to Bayleys, the demand for space in Courtenay’s entertainment precinct from hospitality joints is so strong, landlords are able to delay earthquake strengthening.

This is the opposite to what’s happening in the rest of the region.

B grade areas are experiencing less demand even in the most popular of streets, but this is expected.

Willis St has the highest amount of vacancies, increasing 280 basis points to 15 percent in 2015.

This is attributed to residential intensification moving to areas close to Lambton Quay and Cuba St.

But it also has new retail stores R.M. Williams, Industrie and Bailey Nelson moving into its precinct. This is the first time these companies have opened a store in Wellington.

Cuba St has low vacancies of 5 percent as of 2015.

It’s not all good news, however. The wider Wellington region, vacancies have risen in the past year. They’re up from 6.8 percent to 8.7 percent overall.

Suburban areas have the highest vacancy rates seen in six years.

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