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We Can Beat Shopping Centres At Their Own Game

Hello, this is hard for me to say but this is very much a ‘look in the mirror’ post.

I think it’s vital that a blogger shows some insight into why the heck they’re blogging in the first place.

I want to show you want makes me (A Beautiful City) tick.  Ironically, this is the hardest type of blog to post.  Why?  I don’t know …

A Beautiful City was conceived in late 2009.  At the time, I was working bloody-hard-and-loving-it in the commercial property industry.  Think what you might about property and real estate agents but we bloody rule the world.

Through improbable fortune the gumbys in the real estate industry have fingers on all the nerves that make your community tick; the land based economy has converted everything in its path and is the enormous cultural shadow in your city.


I was specialising in Perth’s town centres and had my finger on the pulse of about 27 of them: Fremantle, Perth, Victoria Park, Leederville, Mount Lawley, Subiaco, Claremont et al …

I marketed these centres across the country in order to settle retail leases of high value (up to $3.5 million) for the benefit of landlords who I also fought and scrambled with for recognition as the best retail leasing agent in the world.

And I was.  At least I thought so.

And why not?  How many people specialise, full-time, in the pursuit and settlement of only retail leases in town centres?  (Not many, I can tell you.)  Kudos go out here to Jim Tsagalis, owner and founder of Lease Equity – the originator of retail leasing agency, as far as I am concerned.

Oh, you can say the Westfields, Centros, Red Rocks, AMPs, Macquaries, Mirvacs and all the other shopping centre landlords have their own retail leasing agents who operate full time in retail leasing – and they do – but they operate in the cosy environment of their own private communities – their shopping centres.  They bring retailers in from all over the world but they are not hitting the pavement in your cities doing deals with every landlord in the street.

It’s so simple.

Your mainstreet comprises land with buildings on them, and the stories of that land are the stories that make your community and economy.  Yet it is a complete picture of these stories that wafts in the wind, without ears, without a Master, and the whole community and economy wafts in the wind too.

Yes, shopping centre owners are the Masters of their domain, so they can jib and jive and steer their local communities, but just because you – yes, you in local government, I’m talking to you – don’t ‘control’ all of the land in your city it doesn’t mean you cannot ‘use the force’ and be a ‘Master’ just like Mr Shopping Centre.

So, it’s this type of power – or ranting energy – that I want to examine, harness and distribute so your local economy can thrive – hence A Beautiful City is born.  The complete mess: cities, local communities, land, retail uses, local government – how the heck does it all fit together so we are not flapping in the wind?

Obviously, I have all the answers, which is why you’re going to like, love and tweet A Beautiful City to high heaven (clicks on top right) so we can get this show on the road.

High quality data management, independent-retail development, place making, retail design and visual merchandising are some of the tenets that local governments are wetting themselves to implement in their local communities.

A Beautiful City is your partner and hero to get there – so read up, click up, promote, share, blog, tweet and email today so we can beat the shopping centres at their own game.




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