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Renew Adelaide to tackle Hutt St vacancy

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Renew Adelaide has secured its first Hutt Street property and is negotiating with property owners throughout the precinct to reduce its high vacancy rate and improve its image.

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Renew Adelaide connects start-up businesses with short-term, rent-free leases in vacant properties and helps property owners improve their buildings to attract tenants.

According to an audit by the not-for-profit, 21 per cent of retail properties between South Terrace and Wakefield Street on Hutt Street are currently empty.

But Renew Adelaide is seeking tenants for 206 Hutt Street, a former French patisserie – the first step in what it hopes will be a revitalisation of the high street.

Hutt Street has been the subject of vitriolic public debate during the past 12 months over an alleged spike in anti-social behaviour (although police say the rate of criminal and anti-social behaviour has not changed) and calls for the homelessness service Hutt Street Centre to be relocated.

Renew Adelaide CEO Tim Boundy told InDaily that the crisis had created a collective resolve among retailers and landowners to work together to improve the situation.

“Any negative comments about any precinct aren’t going to have great results … (but) there’s a really strong trader community that’s been formed,” he said.

“(It) brought that community together… to take it from that negative discussion into something really positive.

“Renew is really excited to be part of that process.”

Renew Adelaide was among the participants in the working group meetings of Hutt Street stakeholders, organised by the Adelaide City Council, that had been developing a 90-day change project to improve the precinct’s fortunes.

Boundy said Hutt Street property owners had been “really receptive to Renew Adelaide’s offering” and that other retailers were in favour of new, complementary businesses starting up there.

“What Hutt Street can be is a bridge between the suburbs and the city … the welcome mat to the city.”

Renew Adelaide is funded by the State Government and the Adelaide City Council.

Lord Mayor Martin Haese said in a statement that “we want to see Hutt Street be a thriving, diverse and welcoming place that people want to spend time in”.

“Renew Adelaide has a great reputation for attracting tenants who enliven vacant spaces with creativity and energy,” he said

“I encourage anyone with an idea for (206 Hutt Street) to apply for this unique opportunity to join the Hutt Street village and contribute to the street’s vibrancy.”

The property is listed here.

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