A new wave of fast-food and fashion retailers is moving into Chapel Street ahead of a much-needed makeover for the retail strip.
Stonnington Council has released a master plan that includes a ferry service along the river from the city to the strip and a $1.8 million plaza in Windsor that will form two "gateways" to attract visitors to the popular but "tired" street.
Fitzroys Real Estate director David Bourke said despite an overall vacancy rate of 6.1 per cent, at the premium end of the street only two large shops were vacant.
They were 501 Chapel Street, opposite the Jam Factory, and the former Foot Locker store on the corner of Arthur Street.
Rents on most of Melbourne's larger shopping streets had already gone down by up to 20 per cent, Mr Bourke said.
Hot dog specialist Massive Wieners, French macaron manufacturer A La Folie, health juice operator Pressed Juices, Mexican concept chain Zambreros, another Mexican restaurant, Fonda, Ben & Jerry's ice-creamery and Chinese tea retailer Quali-T had all recently moved into Chapel Street or Toorak Road, Fitzroys leasing executive Michael Rainey said. Edgier fashion retailers were also taking space.