Core to the provision of Asset Management, is the matching of commercial business users to commercial properties and the management of physical assets for the operation of businesses.
“One of the most satisfying things about our work in commercial property management”, says Wollongong Commercial Property Management Department Head, Tracy Preston, “is assisting to foster the establishment and operation of strong business hubs, that provide services to communities.”
Tracy Preston, Commercial Property Management Department Head
Tracy says, “identifying a need in a community for a business use and being able to bring together property owners and business operators to achieve community outcomes, requires skills across multiple disciplines”.
It's a skill set for which MMJ’s Melody Reid was recently awarded the 2023 Real Estate Institute of NSW’s Award for Excellence in Commercial Property Management. “My most significant management achievement in the last year”, says Melody “has been the repositioning of a strip retail centre in the coastal town of Shoalhaven Heads NSW”.
121 Shoalhaven Heads Rd at Shoalhaven Heads, consists of a group of five retail shop tenancies, in one line, fronting a common car park. “I always felt that the tenancy mix was under its highest and best use and that the premises could be used to better suit the demographics and needs of the local community, said Melody.
In July 2022, the Centre consisted of a poorly performing convenience store, a bottle shop, a pharmacy, an op shop, and a vet. With the only local supermarkets more than a twenty-minute car trip away, there was a definite community need for a neighborhood supermarket.
Being in an isolated location, leasing vacant space has traditionally taken a long time in this location, with vacancies of up to two years.
“I knew I had to take affirmative action to ensure any vacancy was avoided,” said Melody.
Melody Reid, Portfolio Executive
“I identified that there was a real risk of the convenience store tenant falling over. I had had previous contact with a local supermarket owner from Berry who was interested in taking over the convenience store for a supermarket, however, the available premises were too small for their consideration”.
Repositioning of the Centre was done in three stages.
Stage 1 resulted in the Op Shop vacating their expired lease and the supermarket commencing in late July 2022.
Stage 2, commenced in September 2022, resulting in the bottle shop expanding into the ex-convenience store.
The Vet closed, making way for Stage 3 of the repositioning by expansion of the Supermarket into the past vet space.
The Shoalhaven Heads community is now serviced by a supermarket with an extended product range, including more variety of fresh produce, meats, bakery items; the convenience of which is being met with much excitement from the community.
The Centre is now alive with activity.
Gross income for the property owner increased by approximately 16%. The value of the Centre has increased substantially and the benefit to the community has been immeasurable.