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National Retailers Are Here

By Mark Beale

The Whitsundays is seeing a number of national retailers come to town – a good indication that there is confidence in the region, according to the team at Ray White Whitsunday.

Ray White Whitsunday have recently leased properties to Boost Juice, BWS and Zambrero (a Mexican restaurant chain) and are in discussions with other national brands looking to open outlets in the Whitsundays.

Ray White Whitsunday’s commercial property consultant Tracey Oates said national retailers conducted serious research before they considered a region.

“They are viewing the Whitsundays as an area of growth that is worth investing in,” she said.

The Whitsunday commercial leasing market has seen a major shift in the past two years with only a handful of vacant shops now remaining in the Airlie Beach main street (ground floor level).

“A few years ago the main street had a vacancy level of around 30% (but) this is no longer the case,” Ms Oates said.

“We now have numerous prospective tenants actively looking for properties in the main street with only limited opportunities remaining, and some businesses are now struggling to secure a suitable location.”

The leasing activity isn’t just limited to the centre of Airlie. Cannonvale’s modern business centres, 121 Business Centre and Whitsunday Business Centre are now starting to fill after many years of high vacancy levels.

Ms Oates reports there has also been a recent increase in inquiries for industrial properties, although there are still plenty of industrial opportunities remaining for those looking to open a new business or to relocate.

Cannonvale’s newest retail development Reef Plaza (home to McDonald’s, Sportspower, Airlie Fitness) has only one vacancy remaining in the building.

“We are seeing some serious interest in this last tenancy and are now taking expressions of interest for the next stage of Reef Plaza, which the developer can custom build to suit tenants’ requirements,” she said.

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