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News release


Small venue legislation reinvigorates Adelaide’s CBD

The city’s transformation of small laneway space brings a corresponding increase in real estate values

​ADELAIDE, 17 MARCH 2015 – Small venue legislation is reinvigorating Adelaide’s CBD, creating a change in perception for the city and is expected to bring a corresponding steady increase in real estate values, according to JLL.

JLL’s Head of Sales and Investments for South Australia, Roger Klem, said, “The South Australian Government’s plans to create a ‘vibrant city’, launched in 2012, has had a positive impact on the city’s property market.  

“While the new Adelaide Oval has been revolutionary, it is the transformation of the CBD’s under-utilised laneway space that has had a significant impact on the ‘vibe’ of this city. The ability to unlock the previous ‘barren’ land of laneways has meant that owners are able to create income streams.

“Demand from purchasers, including owner occupiers and developers, continues to be driven by the activation activity in laneways and the opportunity to unlock commercial and residential land uses in close proximity.  It is a great story with only winners – purchasers, landlords, developers, tenants, and owners,” said Mr Klem.

According to JLL’s Strategic Analyst for South Australia, Hamish Crouch, a key element in the activation of Adelaide’s laneway network has been the South Australian government’s amendment to the Liquor Licensing Act 1997 - providing for a new category of small venues (maximum capacity of 120 persons) within the CBD. 

“With the aim of both reinvigorating these underused thoroughfares and stimulating small business activity, the small venue licence provides flexibility and simplicity to entrepreneurs within Adelaide’s hospitality industry. 
“Even in its fledgling state, the licence has had an exciting impact on the city. Since 2013, 42 Small Venue licences have been issued, with a further 11 awaiting approval. Along with the social benefits of increased activity and vibrancy in the CBD, there is also an associated broader uplift for the local economy,” said Mr Crouch.

Renewal SA estimates that a total of 200 jobs have been created and $5 million of investment has been expended in the establishment of Adelaide’s small licensed venues. 

“So far, Adelaide’s west end has been the main benefactor, with the creation of a number of unique, high quality food and wine bars along Peel Street, Leigh Street and Bank Street adding a cultural edge to Adelaide’s entertainment precinct. 

“Leigh Street, the home of popular establishments Udaberri and Casablabla, is the first in a series of streets to be closed to traffic. The redevelopment of Adelaide Oval and Riverbank Precinct paired with the impending relocation of the Royal Adelaide Hospital, give rise for these north to south running laneways to become the ant-tracks of the city – linking employment and entertainment hotspots throughout the city square.  

“The unique offering of a small, locally run bar scene is something previously unseen in Adelaide – which, given our world renowned food and wine industries, is surprising,” said Mr Crouch.

According to Mr Crouch, the revitalisation is unlikely to stagnate in the near future. “The State Government, in February, announced a new ‘City Makers’ program, offering grants of up to $20,000 for entrepreneurs looking to set up business in Adelaide’s CBD.

“When paired with the existing initiatives and forecast CBD population growth of 69 per cent between 2015 and 2036, the stage is set for the ‘City of Churches’ to continue its exciting revitalisation,” concluded Mr Crouch.