Philip Hopkins July 11, 2012
Foodies' favourite: Coda Bar & Restaurant in Flinders Lane.
SOME landlords are finding a clever new way to attract tenants - through their stomachs. It's the ''foodies'' way to attract clients, and it's working in some of the small streets and laneways.
Savills Australia's senior leasing executive, Louise Nicoll, said some buildings were now becoming identified by the trading name of the ground floor restaurant or cafe.
''For example 125 Flinders Lane is now known widely as the Chin Chin building,'' she said. The same had happened with other sites, such as The Adelphi, the Cumulus building and the Coda - 141 Flinders Lane.
''Any restaurant with a celebrity chef or highly regarded trading name is going to be a bonus in attracting tenants to the building,'' she said. What had started as a service to tenants had evolved into a necessity and a pursuit of quality, and if possible - celebrity.
''Astute landlords have realised that in a tight market, a well-regarded eatery might be the deciding factor for many tenants. In turn the attraction of a respected key tenant can then be a significant factor in attracting other tenants and fully leasing your building.''
Ms Nicoll said tenants also needed to attract and retain staff. ''A decent eatery may also help them to minimise staff churn,'' she said.
Associate director retail services at Savills, Jeremy Marmur, said the growth of the cafe culture was due to the trend to apartment living close to retail centres, a movement away from cooking at home, business people looking for convenient dining options, and the appeal of TV shows such as MasterChef.
Ms Nicoll said an additional spinoff in leasing ground floors to popular eateries was that, even in the worst of times, those food industry tenants were able to maintain a fairly good turnover and so provide the landlord with a secure retail base.