Growing spending on food and beverage throughout Chapel Street has attracted the world’s largest Mexican restaurant chain, Taco Bell, to the famous lifestyle shopping strip.
Taco Bell first teased its Melbourne debut on its social media accounts, and it can now be revealed Fitzroys agents James Lockwood and Lewis Waddell have leased the 320sqm, fully-fitted space at 352 Chapel Street, South Yarra to the US-based food giant, on behalf of a private investor.
The site is due to be open later this year.
Lockwood said the interest in the property generated throughout the global campaign and by Fitzroys’ international contacts demonstrated the high regard in which Chapel Street is still held in by major operators across Australia, as well as abroad.
He said Taco Bell is looking to capitalise on the recent influx of spending within the area, and recognised the growth prospects that the growing residential and worker population offered Chapel Street.
“Residential and commercial development in the area has both increased and prompted a shift in the immediate catchment’s demographics, which has brought a higher spend on food and beverage.”
He said Melburnians continue to embrace inner-city living and are increasingly looking to live, work and go out in and around the city, reflected in the development of the high-density Forest Hill precinct nearby and major projects in the pipeline for the area that include the $1.25 billion Jam Factory overhaul that are transforming Chapel Street.
The new Jam Factory will bring 50,000sqm of commercial space to the area, as well as its popular cinema, and new retail and hospitality space.
“As well as the Jam Factory redevelopment and Forest Hill, projects including the the soon-to-be-completed Capitol Grand and W Hotel, and new office builds at 627 Chapel Street and Chapel Plaza at 402 Chapel Street will boost retail and hospitality trade across all hours,” Lockwood said.
“Taco Bell is well-placed to offer its world-famous Mexican-inspire cuisine throughout the day to the growing worker population, in the evening to local residents, and the nightlife crowd the descends on the length of Chapel Street, which remains the busiest clubs, bar and dining precinct of any of Melbourne’s retail strips south of the Yarra, and draws visitors from across Melbourne.”
Established in 1962, Taco Bell serves two billion customers each year at more than 7,000 restaurants across the world. After previous stints in the Australian market, Taco Bell re-entered the country in 2017 in Queensland. Lockwood said Taco Bell is the latest food and beverage operator to look to Melbourne as the next location for their expansion, given the city’s nation-leading retail spend.
“Taco Bell wanted to secure an address in one of Melbourne’s - and Australia’s - most famous shopping and lifestyle precincts for its debut in the city,” Waddell said.
Waddell said hospitality groups made strong enquiry throughout the campaign, with the property offering a full hospitality fit-out and kitchen infrastructure. The enquiry demonstrated a clear appetite from food and beverage traders to secure a site on Chapel Street and the surrounding areas and tap into the growing local population and be a part of its transformation.
“The double-fronted property offers fantastic exposure in an area with high foot traffic, and which will be invigorated by new developments in the area.”
“The deal demonstrates the reputation Chapel Street retains for major Australian and international operators.”
According to Fitzroys’ newly released Walk the Strip, Chapel Street, South Yarra vacancies came down from 18.1% to 15.6% throughout 2018/19. Fitzroys has recently negotiated several leases in Chapel Street, South Yarra, including new hospitality ventures Jumi’s Café at 585 Chapel Street, and of a Chinese hospitality group at 589 Chapel Street. In other deals negotiated by Fitzroys, to children’s toys and clothing retailer, Things Adorable leased 539 Chapel Street for their Melbourne flagship store, and Melbourne Laser Clinic signed a long 10-year leased 552 Chapel Street.