The epicenter of Melbourne’s alley culture is for sale, and its next tenant could spark the next evolution of one of the city’s most internationally recognized spots.
A 112 m² corner store at the intersection of Degraves St and Flinders Lane is being touted as a future home for a luxury brand amid changes in fortunes for the Instagram hot spot.
Formerly home to Australian luggage and luggage store Crumpler, property 40-44 Degraves St is one of the most visible spots in the tourist destination known for its Parisian-style cafe and street food.
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Despite that, Josh Luftig, associate at Ainsworth Property, doesn’t expect a cafe, restaurant or even a clothing store to take up residence in the prominent location.
Luftig said hiring restaurant staff is still a challenge as Covid-19 continues to impact the workforce and many clothing store operators in the area have yet to see commerce return to pre-pandemic levels.
“So we’re thinking it wouldn’t be your typical cafe or hospitality business, and fashion doesn’t really work,” Luftig said.
“It could be a retailer, but service-based.”
He suggested that “something more bespoke,” like luxury perfume brands, designer shoe stores, and even luxury watch stores, would be the kind of business that could make website exposure and passing traffic work. for them.
The property’s lease ad points out that the blue stone-paved crosswalk was named after William and Charles Degraves, who ran a flour mill down the street in the 1850s, with the area having undergone several developments since then.
Luftig said that while the pandemic had forced change on Melbourne’s alley scene, he added that he believed its history and the prevalence of famous restaurants along nearby Flinders Lane would ensure it remained in the spotlight.
“Degraves is notable for its Parisian-style street commerce and art and style culture, and certainly much of that has been lost through current affairs,” he said.
“But if you think of international and domestic tourists coming to Melbourne, Degraves is that place they will come to for that coffee and authentic alley experience.”
Luftig added that with a shortage of available workers, some companies on Degraves St are finding technological solutions to support a “much leaner workforce”.
He said those who would succeed going forward were more likely to bring a more immersive space to the table and become a destination.
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