Feast of new shops, eateries lift for CBD

The lacklustre retail offering in the CBD's western end is set to get a boost after a series of major new stores and eateries begin to open in Spencer Outlet Centre and the Upper West Side apartment complex.

The lacklustre retail offering in the CBD's western end is set to get a boost after a series of major new stores and eateries begin to open in Spencer Outlet Centre and the Upper West Side apartment complex.

Fashion and homeware retailers Cotton On Superstore, Trade Secret and Harris Scarfe will become the anchor tenants at Spencer Outlet Centre, taking 6000 square metres in the former DFO next to Southern Cross Station, say industry sources.

It marks a significant turnaround for what had become one of the city's most infamous retailing flops since developer Austexx collapsed in 2011, with the centre entering a decline that saw vacancy balloon.

Retail management group Retpro, appointed by receiver KordaMentha, is believed to be close to fully leasing the 27,000 sq m property after refurbishing and rebranding the complex over the past year.

Harris Scarfe will open its first CBD outlet in a 2500 sq m space. Cotton On Superstore and Trade Secret will each take 1800 sq m. Retpro has declined to comment.

Across the road, developer Far East Consortium is preparing to open the first stage of a 3168 sq m retail arcade that will run the length of its 2500-unit Upper West Side project along Spencer, Lonsdale and Little Bourke streets.

Vietnam-based eatery Pho 24, a Chinese-Western fusion restaurant, and a Middle Eastern restaurant with a shisha bar will occupy spaces under the Madison apartment tower and along newly created laneway, Water Tank Way. A South American steakhouse has taken about 300 sq m inside a heritage-listed brick building that was part of the power station on Little Bourke Street. The deals were negotiated by Zelman Ainsworth and Cam Taranto of CBRE at rentals of about $800 to $1000 per sq m. "We have only released stage one of the retail and already have all shops leased or under offer, with tenants waiting to secure a place in stage two of [the] project," Mr Zelman said.

Meanwhile, strong trade at the new Woolworths in Southern Cross Station is responsible for IGA's decision to slash by nearly half the size of its nearby 200 sq m supermarket at Collins and Spencer, industry sources say. But plans are being mooted for another IGA in 470 Collins Street. Listing agent Colliers International was unavailable for comment. IGA did not respond to a request for comment.

cvedelago@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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