Positive stats for central Hamilton

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Spending and pedestrian counts are both up in Hamilton’s CBD.

The latest electronic spend data for the CBD is up more than $20 million up on the previous year to $656m.

Meanwhile, the 10 days before Christmas 2018 saw pedestrian counts more than 10 percent higher than the same time a year ago.

It is the first time in many years that comparable pedestrian data has been available, and in the period from Boxing Day to New Year’s Eve the count was up 16.8 percent.

When it comes to spending, food and beverage top the list at 40 percent of the total, ahead of the “other retail” sector, which includes cars, pharmaceuticals and travel, and hospitality coming in third.

Hamilton Central Business Association General Manager Vanessa Williams attributes the increase to a variety of factors working to the benefit of the central city.

“We have more businesses moving in the city centre, combined with consolidation of business locations to single sites, more residential build development increasing inner city living, a thriving events scene, including both local and major events, as well as ongoing commercial development at every turn.”

She said with more than 22,000 working in the CBD, businesses have a large buying audience on their doorstep.

Meanwhile, CBRE Research and NAI Harcourts have just released the Hamilton Retail Occupancy Survey, reporting on vacancy rates, stock levels and the overall tenancy mix of the CBD. The central city retail vacancy rates show a decrease to 6.2 percent, which is near a historic low.

The main reason for the decrease has been attributed to large amounts of stock being withdrawn from the market for redevelopment or refurbishment.

“The city is continuing to adapt to market demands,” says NAI Harcourts managing director Mike Neale. “The marketplace is moving towards quality, smaller spaces with more amenities. Big block style retail is somewhat a model of the past and landlords are now creating more adaptable, functional spaces that can incorporate more than one offering or tenancy.”

CBD events
The CBD continues to pump with events. A busy month includes a pot-pourri of events around Feast Waikato from April 5-7, starting with the inaugural CBD Event Progressive Dinner on the Friday evening and continuing with free movies at Victoria on the River on the Saturday as well as a pop-up pavement event from 10am-2pm. All that and more. Go to www.waikatofoodinc.com/feastwaikato

Meanwhile, Brave Hearts – The New Zealand Cardiac Story, an interactive exhibition profiling pioneering Kiwi heart clinicians and the bravery of their patients, continues in Garden Place until the end of April. It is open 10am-4pm Monday to Friday and 10am-2pm on Saturdays, and Waikato Heart Kids will visit on Monday April 15 with Dr Fraser Maxwell from 10.30am-12.30pm.

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