City Centres – PHOENIX

City Centres need to change to survive. The internet is king and together with rent and rates City Centres are no longer fit for retail purpose.
I believe retail centres can not only survive but grow. Over time, use changes. We must adapt our planning and lead in use changes in retail areas. Former residential, Georgian dwellings are often used as offices. The trend is being reversed with commercial now being used as residential. Any accommodation above GF is redundant for retail and stands empty.
Local authorities should buy prominent retail properties. Halve the retail rent. This won’t impact the investment value as an occupied shop paying rent is worth more than an empty shop paying nothing. Convert the upper floors to quality residential to let. You will increase the value of the investment to the Authority, fill currently empty shops and revitalise city centres as places of quality living with vibrant and pleasant nighttime atmospheres.

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