For Lease

As I made my way home from work tonight, I noticed the Blockbuster Video Store on Crown Street, was once again “closing down”. There was a “false alarm” a couple of years ago when they had a “closing down sale” on the weekend, only to re-open on the Monday. The truth be told, I haven’t rented a video since the early 2000s, and so if they really do “close down” this time I wouldn’t be surprised.

The days of the video shop are surely well in the past, along with record shops and newsagents. And banks.

A couple of years ago, when I expressed concern about the relocation of the Commonwealth Bank to a “ritzier” part of Crown Street, resulting in yet another empty shop in my area, I was reminded by a local real estate agent who commented on my blog, arguing:

Crown Street is just doing what it has been doing for more than two decades now, which is that it is morphing into one of the most popular & vibrant retail strips in Sydney.

He was absolutely right, Crown Street has changed so much in the time I’ve been living here. Shops open; shops close.

But two years later, the Commonwealth Bank remains empty. So too, is Nandos across the road, as you’ll see in the photograph. And about half a dozen (probably more) shops in “my part” of Crown Street are either up for lease or, seemingly, permanently closed.

I really love living in this part of Surry Hills, and so it pains me to see so many empty shops at the moment. Having a vibrant main street makes you feel good about the area you live.

But yeah, times change. And so many of the “shops” we used to go to are no longer relevant. As I think I’ve previously noted, I think we’re in “transition” when it comes to shops, and I wonder if our town plans are reflecting that. Are we just waiting for new shops? Or have we moved to a new world where we no longer require as many “shops”?

Meanwhile, the “gourmet” toffee apple shop on Cleveland Street (which I always thought had a rather dubious business model) seems to be doing just fine twelve months after opening. Yes, really.

2 thoughts on “For Lease

  1. A not so popular street quite suddenly becomes popular with gays. The street invents itself as trendy. Many trendy businesses open. Everyone comes. While the businesses are busy, their costs are high, especially staffing to cater for the crowds. Then the rents go up to an unsustainable level and the businesses start closing. Capitalist supply and demand logic tells you that the rents will then fall, but they don’t. More investors and dreamers don’t see the signs and lose tens of thousands of dollars setting up businesses that quickly fail. The world of small business is full of dreamers, but fortunately for the rest of us, they invest their money in areas that keeps our economy vibrant, such as shop outfitters, advertising companies etc etc.

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