James Lane makes “Geechange” to Centuria centre

James Lane will take over space quit by Harper’s Bathroom.

The Bart family’s James Lane has chosen thriving Geelong for its 29th store – also its first in regional Victoria.

James Lane in 2021 leased a Brisbane distribution centre owned by Dexus.

The bedroom retailer has leased 985 square metres – T6 – at the Primewest Geelong Gate Centre, in Corio, replacing half the Harper’s Bathroom tenancy.

Though rent isn’t disclosed, similar quality showroom space in the regional town, 75 kilometres south west of Melbourne’s CBD, asks between $250-$300 per sqm, per annum.

James Lane will join BCF, Chemist Warehouse, Derrimut Gym, Early Settler, Fantastic Furniture, Focus on Furniture and Freedom Furniture at the 13 year old, 19,534 sqm centre.

The owner’s Bart Group also controls the Sleeping Giant brand.

James Lane makes ‘Geechange

Primewest, nowadays owned by Centuria, paid Edwin Jankelowitz’s Kervale Investments $44.25 million for the Corio asset, 470-510 Princes Highway, in mid-2019.

Leedwell’s Chris Parry, who brokered that deal, has been filling subsequent vacancies.

“The…modern and meticulously maintained single-level large format retail facility is positioned at the main northern entrance of Geelong, immediately off the Ring Road and Princes Highway, offering exceptional access and exposure,” he said.

“It also benefits from ample parking comprising 403 at-grate vehicle bays,” he added (story continues below).

Geelong homemaker centres at capacity

Investors have been eyeing Geelong and surrounding regions with assets including Bellarine Village, Torquay Village and Leopold’s Gateway Plaza trading in recent years, according to Mr Parry.

“Geelong, Victoria’s second largest city, has witnessed substantial growth and is becoming an increasingly sought after location for retail brands,” he added.

“The ‘Geechange’ phenomenon…has seen a continual influx of homebuyers choosing Geelong as their preferred destination which in turn has been driving retail spend in the region,” according to the executive.

“Geelong currently holds nine out of the nation’s 10 most in-demand, non-capital city suburbs search by home buyers [and was] declared the fastest growing property market nationwide in 2022 with expectation of 32 per cent population growth by 2036.

“The demand for new shopping centres in the region is fueled by continual population growth.

“As a result, Geelong’s vacancy rate for homemaker centres is at 100pc, reflecting the high demand for retail spaces in the region”.

Statewide, the large format retail vacancy rate is 2.5pc – a record low since records began in 2009.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of realestatesource.com.au.