Highway-fronting property can lock-in extra value
Today in Morayfield, South-East Queensland, stands this newly built cutting edge highway service centre. We committed Taco Bells & United Petrol to the site to fit alongside the existing Anaconda. Prior to that, stood a 20 year old homemaker centre with showrooms vacant & had been available for lease for 2 years. The owners had to demolish half the buildings and reformat it to suit current day trends.
The site itself is magnificent. Located in a fast growing suburb and on the intersection of two major roads in Brisbane’s northern suburbs. Yet, despite the location, the original, prominent landmark retail centre faded because retail trends changed. Understandably, customers preferred shopping at a much larger, multi-retail centre with a Bunnings about a 1 km down the road.
The lesson for me, was that for property to continue to be great investments, buildings & land need to be adaptable to what customers & tenants want…… Easier said than done!
And even having the flexiblity to convert or improve or upgrade a property depends upon many things including zoning, access, construction constraints and the list goes on and on. After these factors are sorted you still need to be able to create properties which will appeal to the market and it isn’t always clear what the market immediately wants, let alone committing quallity tenants to it.
I would argue, if you have property with exposure to passing customers, you have more options. The fact that this property was located on a highway with 40000 cars a day meant we had greater tenancy range in which to chose from. During our leasing campaign, we were able to contact the usual suspects, such office or industrial uses, plus tenants who require passing traffic such as self-storage companies, general retailers, servos, fast food and medical centres. We ultimately found the solution in fast food and a servo and Voila!..a “highway service centre” was created. And once we did find the solution we were delighted with the many tenants who were interested in locating onto the site. In fact we had a choice of tenants. In other words, there are more opportunities for tenants with highway main road frontage.
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