According to UTS’ 'Empty Spaces Project' report, there are 25 temporary-use set ups operating in otherwise empty properties across Australia. UTS says it is a trend gaining momentum, linked to both the pop-up shop phenomenon and economic conditions.
UTS’ Empty Spaces Project report researches the ‘art in empty shops’ movement in Australia and overseas. It says given recent research from Herron Todd White, Q2 2012 Retail Market Link – Sydney, which finds vacancy increases are expected, creative or community-use projects are a short-term solution to address the impact on retail strips and property values.
Lisa Andersen, Empty Spaces Project manager, says benefits for landlords include property improvements, reductions in vandalism and graffiti incidents, lower insurance and maintenance costs, and increased foot traffic.
“Because art uses space differently and creates a buzz, these projects attract a broader potential base of long-term commercial tenants for properties,” Andersen says.
Lyon Group Australia is the latest property group to provide empty commercial spaces at low or no cost for arts activity, with Pop Up Epping in Sydney’s west.
In addition, the GPT Group in Newcastle and Wollongong, Frasers Property in central Sydney, Stockland in Forster and Cbus Property’s 140 Perth have partnered with local creative enterprises on temporary uses for vacant space.
Tenants at the 140 Pop-up Project in the Perth CBD, for example, get a three-month stay at the pop-up retail space. Implemented by Jones Lang LaSalle, the Pop-up Project offers space to independent retailers, free of overhead costs.
“Anything that broadens the range of consumer offerings, supports new businesses and decreases the number of empty properties in retail centres can only assist landlords to attract commercial tenants and hugely benefits local communities,” Andersen says.