Readings set for new chapter in Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn

In another show of faith in Melbourne’s iconic shopping strips, literary retail giant Readings has leased the heritage ANZ bank building plus an adjoining shop in the prime of Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn in a long-term deal.

Fitzroys Division Director – Agency, Chris James negotiated the secure 10-year lease at 685-687 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn at $320,000 per annum on behalf of a private owner.

It will feature a Readings and a kids’ book store. Readings was represented in the deal by Dylan O’Connell of LPC Cresa.

The property comprises 345sqm across the ground floors of the circa-1920 Edwardian ANZ bank building and adjoining shop, and 124sqm on the first floor of the ANZ building, on a high-profile 944sqm site next to the Lido Cinemas complex that has become a landmark for the prime of the strip.

“This deal’s a great win for both Readings and Lido, reinforcing the Lido Cinemas and surrounding shops as Hawthorn’s premier lifestyle and entertainment hub,” James said.

“Readings now has a prime position in one of Melbourne’s many shopping strips that have seen strong improvement in trading and vacancies over the past year.

“Readings was attracted to the high-profile site, located immediately next door to the Lido Cinemas, and the established and affluent catchment that Glenferrie services, while also attracting strong day-to-day activity from Swinburne University students and students from the large number of sought-after schools in the area.”

James added, “the Lido Cinemas and surrounding shops have undergone an impressive transformation in recent years”. The Lido Cinemas complex has attracted some big-name tenants including Axil Coffee, Plaka Gyros and Kurtosh – all in deals by James and Fitzroys colleague Tom Fisher.

According to the Heritage Victoria’s Hawthorn Heritage Precincts Study the former ANZ bank building is considered “significant” in its contribution to the Glenferrie Road commercial precinct, which is of heritage significance and of “local historic, aesthetic and social significance” to the City of Boroondara.

The lease is more good news for Melbourne’s shopping strips. According to Fitzroys’ new Walk The Strip report, vacancies have returned to pre-COVID levels along Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn, falling from 12.9% in 2021 to 7.9% in 2022 as the return of Swinburne University students and the fast-growing Hawthorn office market centred around Burwood Road helped drive an increase in tenancy take-up. The decrease in vacancies was consistent with the Melbourne-wide trend as vacancies hit a long-term low.

Food and beverage businesses have been particularly prominent among new entrants to the strip. Along Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn, Fitzroys has also just leased 694 Glenferrie Road to global health food purveyors Oakberry Açai, 636 Glenferrie Road to cakes and cupcakes specialists Drop By Sweet, and 639 Glenferrie Road space to Sushi Uokin. Other recent entrants include The Cookie Box, also within the Lido Cinemas complex, 99 Pancakes, Saul’s Sandwiches and superfood slingers Green Cup.

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