Growing village medical hub in Dunedin

10:15 AM Friday December 9, 2016 True Commercial

From left: Dr Mike Smith, Dentistry on Highgate; Matt Bowie, Colliers International; Andrew and Amy Hou, Roslyn Pharmacy.

Dunedin’s Roslyn Village, in the Roslyn commercial centre on Highgate, could become a medical hub following a flurry of recent leasing activity.

Dentistry on George St - a modern multi-dentist practice incorporating specialists, general dentists, hygienists and therapists - is relocating from North Dunedin to Roslyn Village in early 2017, and will invest heavily in new technology and systems.

At the same time, Roslyn Pharmacy is expanding, with a refurbishment project underway that is set to increase the size of its existing space by 85sq m.

A specialist dental studio has also signed a lease to occupy a small unit in the village, located at 291 Highgate in the Roslyn commercial centre.

Matt Bowie, broker in Colliers International’s Dunedin office, says the three businesses share a positive vision for the future of Roslyn Village, based on local growth trends and the precinct’s location amid a large and affluent residential catchment.

“Roslyn Village suffered from a wrong mix of businesses in the past, but those days are behind us. There is a great deal of positive sentiment for Roslyn among businesses, proven by Dentistry on George St’s upcoming move and the expansion of the pharmacy,” Bowie says.

Bowie is leading a marketing campaign aimed at filling the four remaining vacant shops in Roslyn Village, with a medical hub just one possible scenario in what he says looks set to be a positive future for the village.

“With the two dental practices joining Roslyn Village, there is now a strong healthcare presence here, with the pharmacy and a physiotherapist based here as well. Roslyn Village is only a kilometre from Mercy Hospital in Maori Hill, which is Dunedin’s only private hospital,” he says.

“We think there is a lot of potential in the concept of a healthcare hub for Roslyn Village and we’ve already had audiologists, surgeons and GPs look at the spaces available for lease.”

While a medical hub is one possible scenario, Bowie says the village is also an ideal location for boutique retailers, cafes and community organisations.

“The upmarket residential area which Roslyn Village services means the precinct is likely to be able to sustain a variety of uses. It would be great to see Roslyn Village become a buzzing meeting place for the local community – perhaps with a small hospitality operator such as a craft brewery alongside boutique giftware or fashion retailers. The possibilities really are endless.”

Development may also be on the cards for the vacant New World supermarket building, with potential developers considering apartments and mixed-use projects, says Bowie.

“An apartment development for the New World site would really enhance the Roslyn commercial centre and provide a further captive market for Roslyn Village shops and services, in addition to the broad catchment which spans Maori Hill, Roslyn, Waikari and Kaikorai.”

He says there is now plenty of momentum in the property market in Roslyn following other major openings, including Coffee Culture moving into the old fire station and the Mac and Wallace homeware store.

Roslyn is also home to the Highgate Bridge Bakery and popular establishments including Luna Restaurant and Rhubarb Café.

“We’re looking forward to seeing the Roslyn Village precinct come to life again as more businesses join the mix,” Bowie says.

The five available units range in size from 60sq m up to 430sq m. The tenancies can be refitted and modernised to suit incoming businesses’ requirements. Some of the units could also be available for sale to owner occupiers, he says.

“The ability to freehold the remaining available units is a big plus point for potential owner occupiers. Good on-site car parking is a further bonus the village offers tenants.”

Roslyn Pharmacy owner Andrew Hou has been based in Roslyn Village for the past 12 years, continuing a long tradition. There has been a pharmacy in the village for over 125 years.

Hou is investing in a major refurbishment and extension project for the pharmacy over the next 12 months.

“This is a wonderful community and we’re really proud to be part of it. We’re just brimming with excitement about the dentists coming on board – we’ve seen continuing growth and opportunities opening up here so the next era for Roslyn Village is something we’re really excited about,” Hou says.

Hou says he has witnessed Roslyn evolve over the past 12 years into a sought-after suburb popular with younger families.

“There are so many different types of retailers and services that would likely do well in Roslyn Village. One thing that is very obvious is that the community loves to support local businesses. If they offer a great product or service, people will come to them. That’s been proven to us in our 12 years here – and we’re now confident enough to invest further in this location.”

Dr Mike Smith, owner of Dunedin Dentists, which operates the Dentistry on George St practice, says Roslyn is a “great family location” with good access to the city and surrounding suburbs.

“Roslyn Village is an excellent site with good parking and a nice mix of health-related colleagues. We’re looking forward to working in a purpose-built facility and operating from a new location in a bustling commercial centre among other healthcare providers.”

The business offers a full range of services and employs dental therapists, hygienists, dentists and dental specialists. It will move its ten-person team to Roslyn Village in January. Refurbishment and fit-out of the new space, to be known as “Dentistry on Highgate”, is nearly complete.

Dunedin’s retail market is picking up following the higher vacancy rates seen in recent years, according to Colliers International’s 2016 national retail property research report.

The 7.6 per cent vacancy rate for retail property in Dunedin is the lowest recorded since 2012, the report states. Leasing activity has been strong in the past 12 months, driven by a small number of new tenants entering the retail market.