THE empty buildings on High Street could take five years to fill, according to JMP Development Director Andrew Stern.
Mr Stern owns six shops as part of the Tooles buildings.
He said having two major developments open about the same time – Mann Central and the Woolworths precinct – had placed a lot of pressure on the market.
The added pressure of roadworks had led to a situation that was “quite disruptive", he said.
“It's now going to take some time to work through vacancies and for the tenancies to work themselves out,” he said.
“I think the whole process could take five years, at least.
“It doesn't matter where you are, retail is a difficult environment.
“In particular in Wodonga, you've got a lot of new space coming on the market at the one time and there's only a finite pool of tenants.”
You've got a lot of new space coming on the market at the one time and there's only a finite pool of tenantsDeveloper Andrew Stern
Mr Stern has three premises leased, an offer on a fourth, and two vacant.
He said parking availability was critical to the success of the strip.
The council will run a marketing campaign about parking availability during next year's redevelopment.
“Most shoppers want car parking that's readily accessible to the shops that they're looking to shop in,” Mr Stern said.
“The works that have been done are positive.
“Once these continue to the rest of High Street, things are going to improve dramatically.”
- RELATED: ‘A lot of people are scared about the roadworks’
- Receive our daily newsletter straight to your inbox each morning from The Border Mail. Sign up here