Business is booming on Coast, says expert

By BELINDA SCOTT

BUSINESS is booming in Coffs Harbour, if the number of new shop and factory leases is any indication.

Coffs Harbour real estate agent Troy Mitchell said there had been a huge increase in the number of commercial and industrial properties leased so far this year, with February a stand-out.

"We generally lease about 75 properties a year, however since the start of 2008 we have leased 20 and we are less than two months into the year," he said.

"This time last year a lot of smaller factories were becoming available, which indicated a potentially softening market. They are now all gone.

"There is now nothing for lease in Lawson Crescent, Druitt Court, GDT Seccombe Place, Marcia Street, June Street or Anne Street and only two properties in Orlando Street.

"Generally speaking there are no industrial properties for lease north of the town centre.

"South of town, we've leased three factory units in Cook Drive during the week and only have one left and have also leased premises in Isles Drive and Industrial Drive.

"When this goes, the only industrial premises for lease will be at Isles Industrial Park where there has been a slight over-supply of units without street frontage, but these will go soon."

Mr Mitchell said the same story applied to shops and offices, with only one shop available for lease in the city centre, which was under offer, although there would be several coming up in Vernon Street.

He said offices which had been vacant for several years were now receiving interest.

"It's a terrific start to the year and augurs well for the Coffs Harbour commercial and industrial property market," Mr Mitchell said.

"The market is becoming particularly tight as a result of reducing levels in supply which will lead eventually to higher rents."

The renewed activity will be welcomed by city centre landlords, who expressed concern to Council last year about the impact on the commercial sector of approving the development of Gateway House, the new office building being constructed behind Park Beach HomeBase.



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