Luxury Escapes has opened a pop-up store at the historic Melbourne CBD building occupied for more than 40 years, until recently, by upmarket jeweller, Kozminsky.
The tourist accommodation portal will occupy all 380 square metres of 421 Bourke Street following a short-term lease deal negotiated by Colliers International.
The store, Holiday Lab, allows clients to “complete a series of sensory experiences to narrow down their personalised travel recommendation”.
The occupier was initially looking for a modern space, agent Jennifer Tai said.
“However once we took them through 421 Bourke Street, Luxury Escapes fell in love with the character of the building and were excited about how they could transform it”.
The executive added that pop-up retail space serves part of a growing market of businesses wanting to provide experience and service-based retail to prospective clients.
“We are seeing a shift in the everyday bricks and mortar store, to ones that are interactive and that leave a long lasting impression on the consumer,” the agent said.
Luxury Escapes was also seeking a property that had excellent foot traffic in a dense office worker precinct.
Leased, but for lease: agents adjust to working with revolving retailers
Ms Tai marketed the property for lease with colleague Daniel Paul.
Three days ago the agents launched a new leasing campaign for after Luxury Escapes vacates.
Retail, or office uses, are being promoted – as is naming rights.
A commencement date, however, has not – suggesting Luxury Escapes could be offered to stay on until a new occupier is found.
The property is half a block from the western edge of Bourke Street Mall.
Bourke Street building has sold as often as it has rented recently
Built in 1859 on the north west corner of McKillop Street for stock and station agents Kaye, Butchart and Co, 421 Bourke Street was acquired by the Shaw family as an investment in 1976.
In mid-2017 it sold for $7.6 million.
Kozminsky vacated in early 2018, when an unsuccessful retail leasing campaign seeking to refit the three level building – or extend it – as a hospitality venue, was launched.
The Bourke Street asset was put up for sale again mid-last year when it traded for $8.4 million.
Luxury Escapes recently signed an office lease, too
Luxury Escape’s lease for 421 Bourke Street comes seven months after it pre-committed to a 1579 sqm Southbank office headquarters.
The 9823 sqm Market Lane, being developed by the landlord, Hickory, at 68 Clark Street, is due for completion this year.