FACTS AND FIGURES: Lismore City Centre manager Renee Moehead said there has been no real increase or decrease in tenancy rates.
FACTS AND FIGURES: Lismore City Centre manager Renee Moehead said there has been no real increase or decrease in tenancy rates. Dominic Feain

Figures don’t look as bad as empty shops

CONCERNS that Lismore CBD tenancy rates are falling are unfounded according to Lismore City Centre manager Renee Moehead.

Ms Moehead said several recent high-profile shop vacancies could give such an impression but the figures don't back it up.

"Retail tenancies are basically steady based on the information I've received from the past couple of years," she said.

"There's been no real increase or decrease, but shops are always moving.

"You need to have about 5% of shops empty so businesses have the freedom to move around."

Ms Moehead added that the Star Court Arcade was currently full, which hadn't always been the case.

Current figures from the City Centre manager and Cr Isaac Smith show an approximate vacancy rate of 6% in the Lismore CBD, which is 23 shops.

Comparable rates for July last year indicate 21 shops were vacant, with 23 in January 2012.

The figures also indicate an average running percentage of vacancies of between 4% to 7% over five separate counts, from March 2012 to March 2013.

Art in the Heart co-ordinator Stephen Nelson said criticisms of council's business promotion programs in the CBD were unfounded.

"Southern Cross University's review of the council's business promotion program received the highest recognition for its brand (Come to the Heart), the Art in the Heart project, and the Back Alley Gallery project, so I take issue with anyone saying events like that are of no importance," he said.

"The underlying philosophy or thrust behind the success of business promotion program plans and marketing strategies is to have year-round activities, events, promotions, festivals etc happening in the CBD to continually attract people into Lismore."



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