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Saturday 21 April 2018

Multi-Use Shopping Centres

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More and more shopping centres outside of London are struggling to fill space with tenants that pay full rent. At present, there are charity shops, subsidised rents, reverse premiums etc. and at the same time, there is massive demand for residential developments. Could this be a sign that the shopping centre and residential sectors could and should be fused together?

In the 20+ years we’ve been working on shopping centres, the presence of coffee shops has leaped from around 1% to a remarkable 25%! Simultaneously, older shopping centres have made somewhat of a desperate attempt to move away from retail only, in favour of retail and leisure and they are also waving their final goodbyes to 9-5 opening hours, which frankly, in the 21st century, completely bonkers!

When considering bills such as rent rates, heating, lighting, insurance etc. - extending opening hours with leisure facilities and residential space, or even medical centres, schools, adult education, libraries etc., read, research, shop, eat and repeat sounds pretty darn good to me!

We’re currently working on a tertiary shopping centre in Hampshire where 24 apartments will be built on the car parks and affordable housing above the shopping centre. In this way, we’ll not only be maximising the use of vacant space, but also encouraging increased use of the retail areas. 
We’re working on four of five shopping centres in various guises and we’ve  just been appointed to work on the leisure-centric Milton-Keynes Theatre District, which is incredibly exciting!

One thing we have learnt through all of our exciting shopping centre work is that the intent to create viable balance of retail and residential from the outset, is absolutely imperative. It’s a simple equation when you think about it - the more residents there are, the more shopping and leisure those residents will do!

What are your thoughts? 



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