Almost 3000 square metres of shops at the $700 million "mixed-use village", formerly the site of the Queen Victoria women’s hospital, has been leased in the past year, bringing the vacancy rate to less than 3% of lettable space.
This brings QV into line with the wider CBD retail vacancy rate, which was about 3.1% in June.
QV marketing manager Martine Criswick says retail lease deals at QV include Pallette Restaurant and Grilled, which have leased a combined 350 sq m at QV Square; BSC Bicycles, which has leased 465 sq m, and Flower Temple, which has leased 250 sq m. Smaller tenancies account for a further 150 sq m.
Prominent Sydney Cantonese restaurant Duck Duck Goose, owned by private group Kam Fook, is expected to open at QV later next month, leasing about 1100 sq m of space. Kam Fook director Edward Ng said it chose QV because of its location close to, but separate from, Chinatown.
He also said he concurred with the vision QV owner Grocon had to open a "high-calibre" restaurant such as Duck Duck Goose, which contributed to the decision to open in Melbourne.
The restaurant has employed boutique designer Buro Architects to do the fit-out.
The London chain Match Bar, which last year signed a 10-year lease for 518 sq m of first floor retail space at QV, is set to open later this month.
Knight Frank director Gary Loo, who has handled QV’s retail leasing since the start of the year, would not comment on average rents for QV. But sources say rents range from $2000 to $4000 per sq m, depending on size and location within the centre. QV spans a whole CBD block immediately south of the State Library.
At the start of 2006, QV had a vacancy rate of about 9%. Large, upper-level chunks of the centre were vacant. Some traders, including street clothes traders Strapper Surf and Street Exchange, restaurant Lime Leaves, and Boost Juice, closed their doors, citing lack of pedestrian traffic.
QV is a mixed development comprising offices, apartments and retail space. Its biggest tenants are Safeway, Big W and Harvey Norman. Office tenants include BHP Billiton and Sensis.
Mr Loo said interest in shopping space at QV had been strong this year, and he was negotiating with an international retailer for the establishment of a Melbourne flagship store at the centre. Grocon is planning an $800 million centre similar to QV at the former Carlton & United Breweries site in Carlton, which it bought for $39 million in late 2006.