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Six shops that show Melbourne is the capital of retail cool

November 9, 2018

This shop in Brunswick East has a long-established cafe Milkwood as a tenant. Photo: Supplied

It’s often called the retail capital of Australia, and there’s good reason why Melbourne is known for much more than just its coffee.

Beyond the large shopping centres and CBD complexes, the real strength of Melbourne’s retail sector is its wide range of unique, quirky and interesting shops.

Opportunities to buy one of these unique properties are rare, and as a result when they do come on the market they’re usually very popular, said Burgess Rawson’s Rick Silberman.

“They don’t come to the market often – they’re tightly held assets,” he said.

“More and more we’re seeing new cafes, new shops open in the Fitzroys of the world – those inner-north pockets, with such close proximity to the CBD. That bodes well for the future.”

Whether you’re looking for a site with an existing lease for some secure income, or a blank slate for your dream shop with your home above it, here are six of the most interesting shops on the market at the moment in Melbourne.

Nicholson Street, Brunswick East

The shop comes with an 8-year lease to 2021, with a 5-year option. Photo: Supplied The shop comes with an 8-year lease to 2021, with a 5-year option. Photo: Supplied

Currently leased to popular cafe Milkwood, the building is next door to a newly completed apartment complex, so there will be lots of extra foot traffic.

Mr Silberman, who is managing the sale, said the building “ticks all the critical boxes our investors look for”.

“There are two main reasons why this will be popular: there is an existing lease in place to a very popular cafe, so there’s some secure income for the purchaser, and it’s a freehold,” he said. “The person that buys it will own that parcel of land, it’s their own block of dirt.”

The sale includes the eight-year lease to 2021, plus another five-year option out to 2026, with 3 per cent fixed annual increases.

There is also room for future development on the site, with concepts already mapped out for a four-level mixed-use project.

Oban Street, South Yarra

The two renovated Edwardian-era shops are in the Hawkeburn pocket of the suburb. Photo: Supplied The two renovated Edwardian-era shops are in the Hawksburn area. Photo: Supplied

These two unique, Edwardian-style shops in the Hawksburn area of South Yarra are not currently leased, so offer a wealth of potential to a prospective buyer.

The first, single-storey shop is 180 square metres and includes a cafe permit from 7am to 7pm, while the second is 70 square metres and comes with a medical permit.

The building is in a classic Edwardian style, featuring metal-frame windows, green-tiled floorboards and panelled doors.

Swanston Street, Carlton

Annual rent on this strata investment is more than $70,000 a year. Photo: Supplied Annual rent on this strata investment is more than $70,000 a year. Photo: Supplied

The Upper House apartment complex, designed by Jackson Clement Burrows and developed by Piccolo Developments, was completed in late 2014, and is known for its unique protruding balconies.

Below hundreds of the apartments is a retail space, currently leased to Korean restaurant Kitchen 520. The  shop is now up for sale, with a 6+6+6 year lease beginning in October 2014. Rent is at $70,191 a year, plus GST.

The building sits at the city-end of Swanston street, in a prominent location right near the University of Melbourne and RMIT. The mixed-use development features 110 apartments across 17 levels.

Smith Street, Fitzroy

This new shop has approximately 90sqm of space. Photo: Supplied This new shop has approximately 90sqm of space. Photo: Supplied

Nestled beneath the Neometro apartment complex on the city-end of Smith Street, this ground-floor shop is surrounding by two of the fastest growing and most popular suburbs in Melbourne: Fitzroy and Collingwood.

The shop is leased to business school for the “modern economy”, the Plato Project, with a three-plus-three year lease, returning $50,000 a year, plus GST, with fixed 4 per cent annual increases.

The bottom end of Smith Street had previously been neglected – even the 86 tram doesn’t go that far down – but with a series of redevelopments, new apartment buildings and shops and restaurants, the area is set for a major revitalisation.

Clarendon Street, South Melbourne

This retail building has a permit for a medical business. Photo: Supplied This retail building has a permit for a medical business. Photo: Supplied

If you’re looking for a blank slate to start your next journey, and for your morning commute to be just a quick jaunt down the stairs, then this might be the one for you.

The old-styled building is a classic Melbourne terrace.

Going to auction in mid-November, the 178-square-metre building comes as a vacant possession, and could be transformed into a versatile shop, office or dwelling, and is centrally positioned in a thriving area of South Melbourne.

With a proposed combined annual rental of $80,000, the building also comes with a current medical permit.

Glen Huntly Road, Caulfield South

The retail building has a separate three-bedroom apartment above. Photo: Supplied The retail building has a separate three-bedroom apartment above. Photo: Supplied

Most of us have fond memories of a general store from our youth, usually involving treats on a Friday after school.

Here’s your chance to revisit those memories and take over a general store in Caulfield South, with a beautiful three-bedroom residence above it.

The shop is currently used as a general store but is hitting the market as a vacant possession with an existing food permit, so could be turned into something new.

Along with the store, the building also has rental income from a Westpac ATM of $8112 a year that runs out in April 2019.

 

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