Bridgepoint Shopping Centre is a convenience based two level shopping centre located on Sydney’s lower north shore comprising approximately 6,700m² of retail space. Major tenants include IGA Supermarket and Harris Farm Markets. The remaining offer consists of a good mix of speciality fresh food operators and professional complimentary medical services. The centre forms part of a strata complex that also houses 24 residential units above and was built in 1988.
The shopping centre component of the strata was purchased by Ray White Retails client in late 2011 after a long period of ownership by the previous company. There was a lengthy due diligence process which identified that the centre was trading well despite a lack of capital upgrading by the former owners. The amount of lease expiries in the short term was also highlighted as a significant risk particularly due to the overall appearance of the building in such an affluent area. It was obvious to us that the previous “cash cow” approach to ownership/management would need to change for the asset to maintain and ultimately increase its value.
Ray White Retail together with its willing off shore owner implemented a strategy to systematically deal with the upgrade of the centre whilst at the same time addressing the lease expiry profile. A specialist retail designer was appointed to reconfigure the front of the centre which was seen as a prime opportunity to address first impressions and work with us on colour schemes.
In conjunction with this we analysed the expiry profile and identified under performing operators. Budgets were set and discussions commenced for the renewal of 22 leases set to expire within 15 months.
Two of the centres existing long term retailers would not be offered new leases. We needed to deal with the sensitivities of this carefully, particularly as both operators had been long term tenants who were keen to renew leases so that they could ultimately sell their businesses.
We then went to the market seeking a quality patisserie / coffee offer and a full line café capable of doing a breakfast lunch and dinner offer. The process was assisted by the fact that we had already commissioned designers to reconfigure the front of the centre allowing for external licenced seating area decking complete with overhead retractable roofs. The plans and artists impressions of the proposed areas were then fine tuned in conjunction with the retailers designers to maximise seating and table space thereby further assisting with achieving the high rentals we were after to offset the cost of the clients investment.
The end result which included a repaint of the entire building has been well received by the local community who continue to be very supportive of the other initiatives that we have planned for their centre.