Re:START turns 1.
It is not widely known that Chase Commercial was engaged by the trustees of Re:START and Colliers Property Management to lease the container shops to retail tenants.
In August 2011 we accepted the appointment and set about building the predominantly boutique fashion tenant mix which is still largely intact today.
It would be an understatement to say we met with real resistance to the concept. Market perception amongst the retailers was that the CBD was had it, and even if the buildings were built on time (in the then red zone) customers would not return.
We perservered, meeting and conversing with most retailers many times. Gradually the fashion tenant mix took shape. The last lease, for one of the key sites was signed within a week of the opening date of 27 October 2011.
We encountered many refusals, and much pessimism as many businesses saw the suburbs as their only viable option.
We persuaded Ballantynes, a great supporter of Re:START from the outset: to position their Contemporary Lounge brands in what became the largest container shop, positioned outside the western wall of their department store.
Hummingbird Coffee did the same and moved against the current of retailers heading for the suburbs, having not previously enjoyed a CBD presence.
Cosmic quickly saw the opportunity and became an early adopter of the concept.
Yoobee negotiated a commanding presence in the north precinct, and were keenly accepted on board.
Johnson's Grocery gladly took up the opportunity as soon as it was offered to them.
Head over Heels was a late but much welcomed participant.
And so it gathered momentum and at opening day looked a "sure thing".
We salute the retailers that listened, that saw for themselves, that were persuaded quickly or eventually. They are stalwarts. Reward them with your custom.