A creative solution for empty spaces
1 July 2015 | Posted in: News
As seen in Melbourne Magazine.
Cameron Joss had a great business idea and loads of enthusiasm when he started his healthy, gourmet meal-kit business Kelly Cube.
All he needed to complete the picture was a retail frontage, somewhere to test his idea, without the risk and commitment of a long-term lease. Then he discovered Docklands Spaces.
For more than two years, Docklands Spaces has matched new businesses in need of space with property owners and real estate agents in possession of an empty shop front, office or studio space in Docklands. The opportunity is mutually beneficial for everyone. Property owners can see their property come to life with a welcoming and active business demonstrating the benefits of the property’s best features, while creative projects and business ideas get to experiment without a big financial commitment.
‘Start-ups have a lot of risk. Everyone tells you, it takes time. You can have the best product in the world, but it still takes time to get it off the ground’, said Cameron. ‘The support of finding a place and helping set up your first shop means you can focus more on your business and spend less time worrying about how to get exposure, without tying yourself into a long contract that could potentially be broken’.
‘I never wanted a shop. It was dead rent. However, with such a new concept we have benefitted from the strong local culture and it is a great way for us to connect face to face with some of our regulars’.
Cameron has now incorporated a retail presence into the Kelly Cube business plan. ‘We have learned a lot about the consumer’s real needs from feedback. We have also learned a lot about the retail industry’.
To date the program has helped activate 21 retail spaces in Docklands, assisted 20 start-up businesses and opened three gallery spaces for local artists. Docklands Spaces is a collaboration between the City of Melbourne, Places Victoria, Renew Australia and developer MAB Corporation. The City of Melbourne also supports participants with grant information and business listings.
For more information, visit Enterprise Melbourne.