22 Oct 2019

Australian Property Journal: Tuesday 22 October 2019

Congregation heads to Church St

Furniture stores Plush and BoConcept, and rugs dealer Jenny Jones have signed long-term leases across nearly 2,000 sqm of showroom space on Richmond's Church St, in deals worth a combined annual rental of more than $1 million.

The deals have exhausted vacancy on the strip and were struck at undisclosed rents by Teska Carson's Jack Kelliher, Michael Taylor, Michael Ludski and Fergus Evans.

They said deals were struck with incentives well under 15% average. Average rents on the strip are over $550 per sqm.

"This is a market which seemingly operates in a virtual economic vacuum unaffected it would seem by the headwinds impacting the retail market generally," Kelliher said.

"This is not to say that these businesses are necessarily making as handsome a profit as they might have done in better times but that they are acutely aware of the value of location in an extremely competitive market."

Plush has leased 902 sqm at 658 Church St, Jenny Jones 560 sqm at 620 Church St, and BoConcept 472 sqm at 527-531 Church St.

He said Church St is arguably Melbourne's best inner city showroom strip, exemplified by the fact that there is "absolutely nothing" available at the moment and plenty of enquiry for any opportunities that come to market.

Taylor said demand was driven by availability of parking and access via public transport, wide street frontages, excellent staff amenity, exposure to a very popular furniture precinct and the number of national retailers on Church St, and close proximity to some of Melbourne's best restaurants and cafes.

“All of these features add up to a strip that attracts an increasingly high level of both vehicular and pedestrian traffic on pretty much a 24/7 basis,” he said, adding prospective tenants are also mindfully of the number of new apartments springing up in the inner east, and the bright business prospects flowing from that.