Population growth outstrips shopping

Oct 29th, 2014

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Article by:
Marissa Lague

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WA is in the grip of a retail space shortage according to the latest proflle of the state's shopping centre industry.

The Property Council's 2014 WA Shopping Centre Survey shows the availability of retail space is not keeping up with population growth.

"We need to add 200,000sqm of extra retail space in WA, mostly in Perth, just to bring us in line with long-term average retail space requirements," said Joe Lenzo, Property Council of Australia executive director.

"This is equivalent to three new major regional shopping centres, like Karrinyup or Garden City Shopping Centres."

The survey also found that the total shopping centre space was unchanged at 285,543sqm during the past five years but the number of shopping centres had fallen by 23 to 251 and that most of the decline had been in the neighbourhood shopping sector.

A different trend emerged in the CBD, where the amount of retail space has increased 27.9 per cent since 2009.

Mr Lenzo said the survey also showed shopping centres were becoming bigger, with more amenities.

"WA is in tbe middle of a major shopping centre expansion phase, including additions to existing centres and construction of new centres. This is a result of the shortage of retail space in WA," he said. "WA shopping centres will continue to evolve to meet consumer requirements and also to be the focus of Perth's new activity centrebased plan for growth."

Jim Tsagalis, managing director of Lease Equity, said the new wave of development was consistent with trading performance, population growth and easing of planning legislation, which let market forces dictate developments.

Source: The West Australian, Property Section, 29th October 2014

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