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whats UP in Gertrude Street ?


Gertrude Street Fitzroy is one of those inner-city destinations full of quirky businesses and colourful characters – stretched lazily along 800mtrs or so. Not quite the wall-to-wall of say Greville Street Prahran (I always seem to compare those two shopping strips, they just seem like crazy cousins…) – it certainly has a very dedicated and passionate following.

There was even a brief mention of Gertrude Street in the UK’s Daily Mail this week (the Melbourne Coffee Tours article reads very well about our fair city).

I’d love to say there are some great pop ups happening along Gertrude (and they do occur… sometimes) but there aren’t many (any ?) right now. There was a guy near the corner of Smith Street who decided to take some “long service leave” – and offered his shop for a series of pop up installations throughout 2012. He’ll explain that better than me – watch this on Vimeo. But last week it seems that shop is now… a café. Maybe the long service just extended out a while longer ?

Spencer Lacy’s store Style Lab (follow them on Facebook) has just celebrated 12 months with their pop up at 124 Gertrude Street. A concept they originally trialled for 3 months or so now seems to be a permanent installation – they call it their Melbourne Concept Store !

Things do appear to be going well along Gertrude Street. There were no empty shop fronts or “For Lease” anywhere to be seen last week (compare that to 8 or so vacancies along Greville Street…) I saw a report recently – “When a good strip is the only way to shop”* – suggesting that Gertrude Street rents aren’t as steep as neighbouring Brunswick or Smith Streets… yet (maybe that’s why there are no vacancies – is there a message in that  ?) The same source (Tamara Gross of Gross Waddell) believes that Gertrude Street will be “Melbourne’s next star performing strip” (and rents are bound to rise very quickly)…

Which might just be a disaster for Gertrude. Colourful and quirky often exists in a fairly fragile state – rising rents risk squeezing the charm (and profits) out of the very businesses which create that atmosphere…Landlords take note !

* Commercial & Industrial Leasing magazine within Melbourne’s The Age newspaper, 15th May 2013


images :

Spencer Lacy / Facebook

Melbourne Coffee /

Gertrude Street /


Style Lab Espresso Machine Gertrude Street

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