DAYLESFORD’s The Rex Shopping Arcade has turned into something of a ghost town, but a new owner has promised sweeping changes to the dwindling retail centre.
With nine shopfronts empty and up for lease and another two recently let but still unoccupied, the centre in the heart of the Vincent Street trading strip is at an all-time business low.
Only three stores other than the cinema remain in business – Vin’s Chinese Massage, Eclectic Notions and Kristoufa Unisex Hair Salon.
However, despite the vanishing levels of business, property managers Stockdale & Leggo have quashed rumours of mass evictions and a planned residential development that have been spreading throughout Daylesford.
Director David Wynack said the opposite was true – that a new owner had taken over the complex with plans to revitalise the centre, refill all the shopfronts, and even commence a regular market within the complex.
“He’s instructed us to manage the complex for him and he wants the shops leased and he wants changes to how it’s run,” he said.
“We’ve just hired a new cleaner and there’s revamps to the outsides of the shops. It’s all good news.”
When asked why the complex had dwindled to such a low occupancy, Mr Wynack said it was due to poor management of the arcade before his agency took over.
“Generally it was to do with the face proper structures weren’t in place.
“The (new) owner has taken a positive look to the future. It’s one person who has bought it and his aim is to make it look like an active retail centre. We’re looking for food providers, clothing, anything.”
My Wynack said there were no active plans to redevelop the centre.
“When there’s change, there’s fear. But there’s no need to be fearful,” he said.
“You buy something like this, before you make your purchase, you might go to council and find out what the development rules are for all sorts of things. Maybe he’s got something in mind for something in the future, but there’s nothing hard and fast that we can talk about.”
Hepburn Shire Council confirmed it did not currently have a planning application lodged for The Rex.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.