Planning your property portfolio for 2019?

Chadstone Shopping Centre, Malvern East, Melbourne. Photograph: Timothy Burgess

This article first appeared on LinkedIn.

Are you starting to think about growth plans for the coming year? I’ve put together some strategic considerations for businesses regarding new developments, key events and policy changes that may be of relevance. If you’re having trouble working out where to make your next move, or have some grand plans that are beginning to seem unachievable, have a read! And feel free to get in touch.

New Developments

First things first, keep yourself up to date with prospective new developments and/or let your tenant rep know you’re interested in being sent information about relevant opportunities. Often you have to put your name on real estate well ahead of time, especially if you’re after a large space. Diligence and planning ahead are essential.

New spaces opening in University’s or other public places will also require an Expression of Interest process, where a retailer will have to submit key lease details and explain how they will enrich the site ahead of time. This process ensures there is less product overlap in a given development, and that the lessee is capable of running the business.

You need to put your best foot forward.

As an example, we facilitated this process for Taste Baguette, when they wanted to open up shop in a new ward at Liverpool Hospital, Sydney. The process can be long, and fiddly at times, so having clean project management and asset delivery is crucial, not only to maximise your chances of securing a position, but also to help create a great final development environment that works as well as it can for your business.

Recent new developments in Newstead, one of Brisbane’s trendiest dining and retail destinations, indicated huge potential opportunities with a growing cohort of young professionals. Our client TotalFusion opened a high-end health and wellbeing centre in the area – TotalFusion Platinum Newstead –

capitalising on the growing market in a strategic and pre-emptive way.

 

It’s also worth emphasising that new developments don’t just represent discrete business opportunities within a given new build, but growth and development of areas as a whole (and their surrounding suburbs) that can and should be factored into strategic planning for future expansion or consolidation.

Key Events

Will key events, from sport to music and culture, have an effect on your business? For Sydney it might be Vivid or Mardis Gras. In Melbourne think of the Australian Open, Formula 1 Grand Prix and the AFL Grand Final. But whether you’re based in one of the major metros – Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth included of course – or elsewhere, local events, from music and food festivals to cultural and artistic events, happen all over, and at different points in the year.

How can you maximise your exposure to these calendar events? Could you benefit more from a casual leasing opportunity than a new shop? Pop up opportunities can also allow for company owned stores to test out new products, promote an online store or gauge interest in certain areas. Time and time again I remind people that

in-store sales are no longer the only benefit of brick and mortar to a business.

Seasonal changes and events will also effect the timing of property moves, for example most retail businesses wont want to be fitting out over the holiday season as this will be costly and lead to them missing out on sales in the Christmas rush. Leasing agreements will ideally be coming to terms by September for a November/December opening – again, planning ahead is key.

Policy

How will the introduction or alteration of planning policy influence your prospects for business advancement? In the past year we’ve seen the Greater Sydney Commission introduce the Metropolis of Three Cities, which has been embraced by developers creating new possibilities. Also in Sydney, Badgerys Creek Airport has finally seen some action after years of speculation, with big implications for retailers!

 

Development of the Western Sydney ‘aerotropolis’ will likely involve a strong influx of young professionals. We are currently researching the best developments for one of our food and beverage clients who is planning ahead and considering alternative spaces in the area.

This is a unique situation with more flexible zoning being introduced to encourage employment,

as the NSW Government is finally encouraging businesses to operate in Western Sydney, helping to reduce commute times, congestion and other liveability indicators by spreading employment and development more evenly across the city.

In conclusion

When planning your portfolio, it is ideal to be aware and informed about future growth prospects and precisely how they relate to your business. These insights are indispensable for strategic planning. New developments, key events and relevant policy changes can be thought of as significant conditioning factors for your business development outlook. Try not to get caught up on specific places and sites as a first point of call, but rather consider how broader area trends are likely to affect your fundamentals – from now into the future. The best possible place as you grow will of course constantly evolve, but being preparedto see moves as they appear, and to act nimbly and pragmatically to execute on those opportunities, is something you can take the reins on – and that may mean seeking guidance from a tenant specialist.

Connect with Phil on LinkedIn.

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