Cleveland’s struggling business district

Empty shops in Cleveland

Empty shops in Cleveland

Is there light at the end of the tunnel for Cleveland’s struggling business district?

The small Ross Court shopping centre in Cleveland is experiencing particularly difficult times, especially in light of the recent closure of Video Ezy. Four other shop premises are currently vacant.

Cleveland’s many shopping complexes are peppered with vacant spaces, few of which have been occupied by new retailers.

Local business operator Meryl Hawkins witnessed the closure of Video Ezy. She has identified that regular trade is not meeting rising overhead expenses, resulting in the demise of this DVD rental store.

“Cleveland’s becoming a ghost town,” Hawkins said outside her place of work in Ross Court.

“Times are tough, so we can’t afford to pay that kind of rent.”

Hopes pinned on population growth

Being the traditional business centre of Redland City, Cleveland is surrounded by other suburbs such as Capalaba and Victoria Point, both of which are home to multiple large shopping centres that have grown and developed over the past decade.

These areas house large chains such as Big W, Kmart, Target, Bunnings and Officeworks, who all have the advantage of scale to offer competitive prices. In doing so, they have absorbed trade from Cleveland’s regular shoppers.

Councillor for Cleveland and Stradbroke Island, Craig Ogilvie, acknowledges that Cleveland’s business scene is not what it was when he took office ten years ago. He maintains that Cleveland does see new business arrive but it is not given its due.

“There’s a lot of product… dwellings, duplexes, apartments, townhouses that are going to happen in Cleveland sooner or later,” the Councillor said when asked about future prosperity of Cleveland’s shopping district.

“A lot of land has been zoned for those purposes already.”

Population growth is set to be Cleveland’s future. With many 6-10 story developments approved, high concentrations of residents would increase business for shopping strips in Middle and Bloomfield streets.

Council has indicated that plans are in place for significant developments in Cleveland’s business district. Only time will tell if this will breathe new life into Cleveland’s empty shops.

By Kristopher Anderson

9 December 2014

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6 thoughts on “Cleveland’s struggling business district

  1. Ian I recall in 2012 Ms Williams promising if she is elected she would make Cleveland Hum, she blamed the Council of the day, which was typical of her political speak. Now what has she done, offered big discounts to developers and two and half years later there are more empty shops, so another broken promise, like the promise of having recycling bins at the end of streets once a year. Shame she is not more mature and instead of blaming others to get elected she does something constructive

    • At day’s end we have just another “Polly” in our Mayor!

      To your face or via the media she comes out with the usual promises etc. etc but when push comes to shove she shows her immaturity in politics and lack of professionalism by backing out of everything!

      She has all the makings of a great MP!

      How many more years before the next Council election? We thought old Melba was as bad a Mayor as you could get! We waz wrong!

  2. When the community and particularly Small Business have lost all confidence in their Council then this is all you can expect!

    When you have a loose cannon in our Mayor and her outlandish plans to bankrupt the Redlands and scare off investors due exhorbitant rates and fees etc. this will ensure we see a continuation of business closing down!

  3. I have loobbied three successive councils to open the show grounds up to grey nomads and short term tourists with their self contained caravans, campers and buses but to no avail. these people only need power/water and toilets/showers which I believe are already available at the show grounds. I am sure this and would generate much needed business for both retail and tourism in the Redlands. If someone in council had the foresight they would see the advantage of having customers in walking distance to the Cleveland CBD and it would also encourage visits to the islands while leaving their caravans at the secure grounds while they see our wonderful attractions.

  4. I made a few comments to Kristopher…Other things I said were that one of the big problems for Cleveland was that it had grown to its current size at a time when it was THE major business centre in the Redlands. With the growth of Victoria Point Shopping Centre and Capalaba it no longer services the catchment that it used to. The more people that are frequenting the Cleveland CBD area the more that the businesses become viable, and so, as population density increases, does the viability…The slow down in business conditions and the rise of internet shopping hasn’t helped either.

    The easiest way to achieve viability now is to get the current population to visit more frequently and to ‘linger longer’. There is ample opportunity to do that – cheaply and in ways that enhance the lifestyle of residents. The Cleveland town centre is a Civic, Cultural and Recreational space and we need to enhance and amplify those things. There are some positive things going on to do that. The Bloomfield St Park upgrade will be a help. Moves are afoot, as part of that, to activate the currently blank wall to the south of that park with container retail spaces…There are some events being planned too for the CBD area. And, Council is working with Real Estate agents to utilise the currently empty tenancies for creative artists and start up businesses until demand from other businesses picks up. There are thousands of word that could be written on this. If anyone is interested in Cleveland then please come and ‘like’ my facebook page ‘Cleveland Town’.

    • …… then all I can say is God Help Us All if our Councillor has only this sad advice to offer!

      i.e. Linger Longer!

      Maybe sort out the atrocious parking. Tell the Parking Inspectors to back off their fervor in throwing tickets out to all and sundry who struggle to find a place to park when none are provided by Council.

      Oh yeh, scrap the absurd suggestion of installing shark nets off the Raby Bay beaches! Like ummmm, that is always a great way to attract visitors and tourists!

      Come to Cleveland and be eaten by sharks!!

      And this is our Councillor at work for the community!

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