Saturday, October 02, 2004

Clover's got a better grip

Click the headline to see today's SMH story about an inside reshuffle of planning responsibilities in Clover's team. It's connected with the departure of Robert Domm, although we remain in the dark about all the details.

Deputy Mayor John McInerney's Planning responsibilities have been split into three -- Phillip Black in charge of DAs under four storeys, Robyn Kemmis in charge of those over four storeys and McInerney in charge of policy and strategy. Clover Moore chairs all three divisions.


Anonymous said...

Rumour has it that a power struggle for influence was going on between Clover and her deputy. She has taken him off the case and he has been sidelined . This effectively kills his influence.

What is not understood is the meaning of “Whatever talent I have now can be contributed to transport, new controls and other strategic matters," he said. "I will have half as much time as I have now if I don't have to worry about the DAs [development applications]."

Surely he means he will have twice as much time………if I don’t have to worry about the Da’s.

Anonymous said...

SMH.2 Oct 2004

Mismatch: too many shops in wrong spot

By Carolyn Cummins, Commercial Property Editor
October 2, 2004

The values of retail sites have risen on a lack of supply and as Sydney's population gets bigger the problem is tipped to get worse before it gets better.

Sydney now has less floor space per capita than any other Australian city, largely reflecting the higher cost structure and greater difficulty of finding suitable, appropriately zoned sites.

If Sydney's current retail square metres of net selling area (NSA) were to increase to the same as Melbourne's, Sydney would need another 714,000 sqm NSA, equal to 950,000sqm gross lettable area, or nine more major regional centres.

This is pertinent given the high prices that have been paid in recent times for retail centres, including the $125 million that was paid for Harbourside at Darling Harbour.

A report which has just been issued by Sydney research company IBECON shows that the lack of supply means there will be even more significant retail investment opportunities in Sydney over the next 15 years.

The report says that an extra 1 million residents, requiring the current provision of 1.34sqm NSA per capita, would be equal to 17 new regional retail centres the size of Castle Towers or Westfield Hornsby.

IBECON has been modelling Sydney's retail supply and demand dynamics for 26 years. In 1993 it was outspoken in its predictions that Sydney needed nine more regional shopping centres within 15 years. Those predictions have been accurate.

The same market dynamics of strong population growth and expensive land servicing costs mean that retail floor space still lags behind population growth in the key growth corridors.

The study shows that by 2015, Greater Sydney will be able to support the equivalent of at least nine new regional shopping centres, all of 100,000sqm gross leasable area.

Ian Booth, managing director of IBECON, said while Sydney overall has an apparent oversupply of retail space in absolute terms, particularly in the south-eastern region, many of the outer areas of Sydney have a significant under- supply of retail space.

"This means there will be some excellent opportunities for retail development over the next 15 years," Mr Booth said.

"Sydney is growing at the rate of 35,000-40,000 people per year, compared with 55,000 a year between 1996 and 2001.

"The major population growth areas will be Baulkham Hills, Blacktown, Camden, Campbelltown, Gosford, Liverpool and Wyong."

While the report found there were significant opportunities for retail development in Sydney, it also showed there was effectively about 300,000sqm of vacant retail space in Sydney.

Mr Booth said that this was indicative of a mismatch of supply.

"There are too many of the wrong sort of shops in the wrong places and not enough in others. Most of the vacant space is unsuitable for competitive retailing, so will gradually change to non- retail use.

"It is often poor quality, in locations with difficult access, such as old strip shops. These old strip shops tend to be far less profitable than shops in modern well-designed shopping centres, which offer convenient parking, easy access and pleasant surroundings.

"We are already seeing a trend towards these old strip shops being redeveloped as offices, personal services, gyms, and so on, as they simply don't appeal to shoppers as much as the modern centres."

The IBECON report says retail spending will rise by 11.5 per cent over the next six years, from $38,639 million in 2004 to $43,035 million in 2010. By 2015 the spending will increase to about $46,914 million (in 2004 dollars). "These figures represent just the real growth in retail spending, not including inflation."

The Editor said...

Re the John McInerney quote questioned above, I assumed it was simply bad subbing and that he would have half as much time AGAIN if he didn't have to deal with DAs. Seems like a good idea to have the most qualified person in charge of strategy -- it's going to be a huge job, too.

Re the story about strip shops vs shopping centres, McInerney has come out in favour of strip shops for the inner city. Big shopping centres assume that everyone is car-bound and has a family, which is not the case in KX at least.

The idea of enhancing community through urban design is sound, and if the Deputy Mayor's vision is realised Sydney will be a much nicer place to live in.

I just wish council would apply a bit more of that thinking to Kings Cross where the opposite is happening. The whole Gateway concept is about alienating people from all public space -- except for endless alfresco cafes.