Published: August 13, 2018

A foodie hotspot can boost local real estate development as well as grow its tourism, retail and hospitality sectors, according to a JLL report.

Look at what is happening in South Australia, it adds. The state’s booming wine exports have put Adelaide on the world tourist map, according to Rick Warner, strategic research manager for JLL Australia.

After all, South Australia accounts for 61 per cent of Australia’s total wine exports, and in 2017, achieved its highest global sales in 10 years. China took the lion’s share, recording a 51 per cent year-on-year increase in the 12 months ending March 2018.

With Adelaide part of the exclusive Great Wine Capitals global network, alongside regions such as Bordeaux, Rioja, Rheinhessen and Porto, Warner believes the city’s gourmet offerings are a key driver [for growth in tourism, property investment and retail spending].

“Year-on-year retail spending growth in the cafes and restaurants category has been in double-digits since mid-2016,” he says.

“It’s all about food and wine down here.”

Sophistication dominates. While annual growth in fast-food spending sits below 3 per cent, fine dining restaurants such as Orana (voted number 1 in the 2018 Gourmet Traveller top Australian restaurants), Africola, Shobosho and Oggi Osteria are all highly lauded, Warner says.

“Hentley Farm, the d’Arenberg Cube and Fino Seppeltsfield in the wine regions are also major culinary drawcards,” he adds, citing the positive impact of wine alone on Adelaide’s real estate “is huge”.

The major noticeable impact is the massive construction pipeline of new five-star hotels scheduled for the city, Warner explains. The 257-room Sofitel Hotel on Currie Street and the new 326-key Crowne Plaza Adelaide hotel on Frome Street are both expected to be finished in 2020.

“Marriott’s Westin brand will manage a new 285-room five-star hotel adjacent to Charter Hall’s office tower on the heritage-listed GPO site on Victoria Square, while the [Atura Adelaide Airport hotel] is expected [to open] by the end of this year,” Warner says.

“SkyCity Casino is [also] expanding its hotel offering as part of a A$330 million casino upgrade currently under construction.”

Emulating the success of Melbourne’s famous laneways, the City of Adelaide's Laneways Master Plan is also playing a part, involving the refurbishment of the laneway network from Riverbank Precinct along North Terrace, through to the Adelaide Central Market in the city centre.

“This new hospitality and retail spine [has] become a new focus point for Adelaide’s night-time economy with vendors expected to capitalise on the current retail spending environment,” Warner says.

At the grass roots production level, he believes the increase in wine exports has been the catalyst for improved industrial occupier activity in 2017, with a number of expansions within the bottle manufacturing sub-sector announced in the past 12 months. The larger bulk and bottled wine volumes and agricultural products requiring delivery from the regional wine areas [of Barossa, Clare, McLaren Vale, Coonawarra and the Adelaide Hills] and greater rural production lands in South Australia will increase the demand from third-party logistics companies that support the industries, Warner says.

As for residential property, all of the most recent high density towers are going up in and around the food hot spots of the East End and Chinatown/ Central Market precincts.

Notable developments under construction include Realm Adelaide on Austin Street and Adelaidean in Frome Street, both vying for the title of Adelaide’s highest and most luxurious and tower; East End designer flats over Rymill Park in the heart of the city; and Monument East, a boutique development of 74 luxury flats above the central business district corner of East Terrace and Rundle Street.

For commercial and residential tenants and owner-occupiers, a major unspoken draw is “the coolness factor”, Warner says.

“Efficiency and quality of the building is paramount, but proximity to amenity also plays a major role,” he says.

“Quick access to restaurants and bars is a major drawcard.”

Article by Peta Tomlinson, originally appeared in the South China Morning Post, Hong Kong.
Republished here with permission.