Melbourne’s GPO will become home to Sweden’s H&M. Photo: Paul HarrisSwedish fashion group H&M has arrived in the country and taken out a 10-year lease on a property at Eastern Creek, Sydney, being developed by Australand.

The retailer has confirmed its first shops will open at the Macquarie Centre owned by AMP Capital Shopping Centres at North Ryde, Sydney, and the former GPO in Bourke Street, Melbourne, owned by superannuation fund, ISPT.

It was also speculated that the world’s second-largest fashion chain, after rival Zara, has signed a lease at the ISPT-owned 345 George Street, Sydney.

The property is leased to Bankwest and National Australia Bank, but in the medium term, it will be renovated to give H&M about 3000 square metres over three levels.

H&M’s Collection of Style has taken space in The Strand, Melbourne, which is next door to the former GPO in Elizabeth Street.

The lease comes as more international brands make Australia their new home.

US fashion store Forever 21 is opening its first store in Brisbane and its representatives have been in Sydney and Melbourne scouting for locations. Japanese group Uniqlo is opening in the Emporium Melbourne and is also looking at space at the Mid City Centre in Sydney.

At the 25-hectare Eastern Creek Business Centre, in the stage four development, H&M has signed the lease via a third-party logistics firm DB Schenker, at Kangaroo Close, incorporating 16,000 square metres. The average rent in the area is about $115 per square metre.

When completed, stage four will accommodate about 145,000 square metres with an end value in excess of $200 million.

Other tenants at the site at the intersection of the Westlink M7, M4 Western Motorway and Wallgrove Road, include OfficeMax Australia and Kuehne and Nagel.

In its half-year result, Australand’s chief executive, Bob Johnston, said vacancy rates were low and supply remained constrained for high-quality industrial and logistic properties.

According to CBRE’s fourth quarter, 2013 Australian industrial MarketView report, 13 major industrial transactions were completed, valued at more than $5 million, reaching a total of $1.56 billion – 49 per cent higher than during the same period in 2012.

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