Darwin becomes Myer’s next target

Darwin becomes Myer’s next target

Posted on Friday, October 05 2012 at 3:05 PM

The green light for a $34 billion Inpex LNG (liquefied natural gas) project coupled with Darwin’s rapid population growth over the past six to 12 months is not only attracting serious attention from investors, but also major retail tenants.

Myer recently announced it’d
swing open its doors at Casuarina Square in one of Darwin’s northern suburbs,
Casuarina, by 2016.

As part of Myer’s lease
agreement, the GPT Group, operator of Casuarina Square, will now finalise its
design process for an expansion of the commercial centre and lodge a
development application to proceed.

The Northern Territory
Government will also need to firm up its financial commitment on public
infrastructure for Bradshaw Terrace, a major arterial into the shopping centre,
by including an improved bus interchange.

Independent property valuer
Terry Roth of Herron Todd White says Darwin doesn’t currently have a major
department store so the announcement of a new Myer is “big news” for the city.

“You read about retailers across
the nation doing it tough, even David Jones is struggling. However Myer has
decided to bite the bullet by coming up to Darwin; they’ve obviously done their
research,” Roth says.

The problem in attracting and
keeping new workers in Darwin has been the absence of department store
shopping, he believes. “Perhaps it’ll make Darwin more attractive to many, and
less people will feel the need to fly to other cities to shop.”

CBD retailers are very
disappointed Myer didn’t select the city centre as its location, he says. “Casuarina
Square tends to soak up the shoppers in Darwin these days so I guess that’s why
Myer chose the shopping centre as its site.”

Palmerston residents might also
be a little disappointed Myer didn’t nab a site in their southwest region, he
adds. “However the Masters Group is talking about doing something in Palmerston
– they’ve even set aside a site for this reason. This move makes sense because
if you look at a map of Darwin you’ll see the demographic shifting southwest.”

Roth believes Myer’s presence will
have a positive impact on the entire city, sending a message that Darwin is
truly rattling ahead, although he doesn’t think property prices and rents will
be particularly impacted in surrounding suburbs.

“Darwin is a small place so
residents already do, and will continue to, travel from right across the city
to shop at Casuarina Square. Myer will just be another incentive.

The move sends a positive
message that Darwin is ready to do business, he says.

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