Larry Schlesinger | 20 November 2012

Melbourne going Tutti Frutti for take-away foodie tenants

American frozen yoghurt chain Tutti Frutti has leased space in the Target Centre at 236 Bourke Street adding to the mini-explosion of frozen yoghurt and ice-cream chains taking up leasing space in the Melbourne CBD and inner suburbs over the past year.

The Tutti Frutti lease is also part of a wider trend of take-away shops, cafés and restaurants claiming a bigger share of the Melbourne CBD retail mix as clothing retailers struggle.

According to Knight Frank, the number of cafés and restaurants in the CBD has risen from 796 to 1,193 over the past 10 years with the trend driven by larger premises being subdivided into smaller spaces better suited to food operators as well as their being greater demand due to their being more residential dwellers in the city.

CBRE estimates that food operators make up more than a quarter (27%) of the CBD tenancy mix with the hotspots being Bourke Street, Swanston Street, the Degraves Street arcade and Melbourne Central shopping centre.

Adding to the growing pie of food operators, Australand recently announced the list of retailers secured for its 357 Collins Street development, which is nearing completion.

Seven out of the eight are food outlets including Italian fresh pasta and pizza chain Vapiano (which will occupy the largest retail tenancy of 800 square metres), trendy hamburger joint huxtaburger, Vietnamese eatery Roll’d: Asian cuisine specialist O’Bento, sandwich retailers Nashi and Basic Bites and Thai takeaway restaurant Rock the Wok.

Tutti Frutti's lease covers a 45 square metre shop at an annual rental of $2,000 per square metre over five years.

The lease was negotiated by the CBRE retail services team of Zelman Ainsworth and Max Cookes.

"Our team has been working with a significant number of popular frozen yoghurt retailers that have requirements to open new stores within some of Melbourne’s most popular retail precincts before the summer,” says Ainsworth.

Earlier this year organic frozen yoghurt and café chain Cacao Green leased two new shops at 235 Bourke Street and 835 Burke Road in Camberwell.

American ice cream chain Ben and Jerry’s secured its first retail location in Victoria at 166 Chapel Street, Windsor while another American dairy dessert chain Tasti D-Lites securing their first store in Victoria at 450 Chapel Street, South Yarra.

Australian-based frozen yoghurt bar Igloo Zoo leasing a new store in the Chadstone shopping centre while another Australian owned and operated frozen yoghurt concept Yo Chi opening its first store at 292 Carlisle Street, Balaclava. 

“There are a number of new and existing exciting food concepts that have been expanding over the 24 months which have proven to be resilient despite reports of difficulties in the retail market,” says Cookes.

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