Renovating a shopping centre is a frequent and planned event to keep the tenants happy, the customers coming back, and the property looking good. This underpins the rental so that the property can compete with other properties in the local area. Failure to renovate or refurbish puts you on the path to poor property performance and rents; this can happen all too quickly. Tenants and rent are a critical part of property strategy.
Renovation plans should incorporate your major tenants, specialty tenant mix, landlord investment plans, and the community needs. It is a fine balance. Give due regard to the terms of all leases in the property before you start, as some may have clauses that will impact the project planning or staging. Local property legislation relative to retail property could also have allowances and procedures for property renovation and or demolition.
Renovation therefore becomes part of retail property business plan and you must know what you are doing before you start; the lead time can be months if not years. Minor renovation is something that happens in one form or other each 5 years or so in a retail property, and with a larger renovations happening on average every 8 to 10 years.
Property renovation is a strategy that needs careful planning when it comes to shopping centres. The property should not be renovated at the peak shopping times of the year, and the renovation should be kept to a strict time schedule and outcomes. The builder or developer you use for the project is the first critical decision that you will make; they should give evidence of other renovation projects in similar high impact retail properties. They should be able to tell you exactly how they managed critical daily issues at the property such as noise, dust, storage, lighting, foot traffic, and tenant relationships; they should show how they completed other similar complex retail projects on time and within budget.
Make your property renovation a community event and build excitement around it. Make big statements about the renovation before and during the process so that the community knows what is going on and has an air of expectation with the outcome.
Get the community involved in the future of the property by undertaking surveys about needs and concerns. The survey outcomes can be built into the project if they are warranted and will build better community interaction with the final property release.
Informative signage should be placed on all the safety barriers and renovation hoardings around the property clearly telling the community what is going on. The more they know about what you are doing, the more likely they will come back when the works are finished. Shopper tolerance is what you need from the outset.
Always keep the tenants abreast of stages and progress in the renovation. It is their income and business that is affected. They want your renovation to be successful so that their business will be successful. The communication links in a shopping centre …