Find Subiaco ‘magnet’: Peinke


Niki Peinke.
Niki Peinke.

Ms Peinke, who ran her own version of the Hard Rock Cafe on Hay Street before it was sold and renamed The Oriel in 1986, has operated her real estate agency on Nicholson Road for the past two decades.

“I think Subiaco is falling backwards because all the good things are being taken out of it,” she said.

“It’s like having a fantastic piece of cake and then taking out half the ingredients.

“Pavilion Markets closing was probably one of the main turning points for Subiaco. Now Station Street Markets have gone, the cinema is gone, footy is leaving. Big developments are pushing residents out. If you try to think of a reason to come to Subi on the weekend, well, I can’t think of too many.”

Given the retail downturn across Australia, Ms Peinke said property owners should be offering huge incentives to draw unique businesses back to the main street.

“I have a policy that shops should not be allowed to be vacant for more than two months, and if they are, then landlords should pay a vacancy rate or drop their rent,” she said. “Landlords don’t want to lease shops out for less because they think it devalues it.

“But hang on; getting nothing for it makes it pretty worthless as well. The only ones that can afford the rent are banks, building societies, optometrists and multi-nationals. People come to Subiaco for its character, its quaintness and individuality. They don’t come here for shopping centres.”

Despite the bleak outlook, Ms Peinke said not all was lost for Subiaco. “Some people say it’s too late, but I don’t believe it is ever too late to change,” she said.