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¿ DEFINING THE HUB
You can’t have a desirable community
café hub without one pivotal factor – good
coffee. Walker says there’s also the want
for locations to have a point of difference.
“People want a café hub that has pretty,
quirky, trendy shops with friendly staff
they can get to know and a high standard
of quality in terms of food and coffee.”
Hegney, on the other hand, says it’s
possible to drive demand on the back of
one great outlet.
“Today it’s not as much about a new or
emerging café strip as it is about a really
good one-off café servicing a local area.
Singular cafés are springing up in new
developments and in older established
suburbs. The local deli is being reinvented
as a café, assuming a café-friendly local
¿ CHICKEN VERSUS EGG
So which comes first – the hub or the
popularity? It isn’t enough to just find
a great coffee spot, buy the nearest
home and wait for the growth. It’s a
combination of factors that result in a
successful strip, according to Valentic,
driven by local demand.
“When you can see those boutiques
popping up and you can see the
restaurants and the cafés popping up,
there’s generally demand from young
professionals and young families in
Valentic believes a trend needs to
establish before an area can be considered
to have an emerging café scene.
“You might see one coffee shop and
then somewhere down the track you
might see three or four or five. I’d want
that demographic to start populating that
“I wouldn’t wait for 10 coffee shops in
the area, I’d wait for one or two before I’d
sit down and do the ‘people watch’, and if
it feels right then that’s enough for me.”
¿ SPOTTING THE HOTSPOTS
Valentic says he uses a basic, effective
and very practical method to gauge the
potential of an area’s property market –
the coffee test.
“If the area has good coffee, that’s tick
number one, but number two is to sit
there and ‘people watch’ for a couple of
hours and see what the demographic is.
“You want to be investing in areas where
you think there’s going to be good demand
and the right type of demographic
that you’re chasing – generally young
professionals or professional families that
have got two incomes and can afford to
pay good rents.”
Walker says there are signs of a pending
café-driven property price hike.
“Definitely! It usually begins with a lot of
vacant shops and thus cheaper rents due
to lack of demand. Then innovative food
people move in and cause this to change.
“It starts with one group with a good eye
and good ideas and then this attracts a
customer base and another shop opening.
Gradually this keeps happening until the
area is fully gentrified.
“A perfect example of this right now
is Stephen Street, Yarraville. A café/
bike studio opened last week in one of
the vacant warehouses. A bakery will be
opening soon, and there are a few empty
warehouses waiting to be occupied.
“This will be the next retail strip in
Yarraville – slightly away from the main
action but people tend to like this as
they can park easier and get special
attention until the area gets as busy as
the main street.”
Hegney says growing strips highlight a
desirable population base.
“They require higher disposable incomes
and a reasonably high residential density
immediately surrounding to make them
work. They’re more desirable if they’re
on the way to work, not necessarily on
the way home, unless dinner is also
St George's Tce
Courtesy of LMW Hegney and walkscore.com.au; *SQM Research Sept 2013
Launceston Seaport Launceston
Courtesy of My Property Hunter, Herron Todd White Hobart and
walkscore.com.au; *SQM Research Sept 2013
Courtesy Herron Todd White Darwin, Tod Peterson’s Property Search, online
sources and walkscore.com.au; *SQM Research Sept 2013
New Acton Precinct
Courtesy of Herron Todd White Canberra and walkscore.com.au; *SQM Research Sept 2013
FEATURE // THE COFFEE EFFECT
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