Landlord filled his empty space

Ramesh Thakur sought out Renew Newcastle to help him find a project for his empty shop. 

Vox Cyclops      Vox Cyclops interior
Vox Cyclops vintage record shop in Newcastle.
Photo courtesy of Renew Newcastle.
Inside the Vox Cyclops shop.
Photo courtesy of Renew Newcastle.

Until July 2009 landlord Ramesh Thakur's shop in Newcastle had been empty for six years and he was at a loss what to do about it. "I had two people in and out but no one stayed more than six months,"he says. "My glass was broken, things were looking untidy and I thought if someone could get in there and not pay any rent, the shop will look good." 

Ramesh heard about the  Renew Newcastle initiative through the local media. After perusing the organisation's website he bit the bullet and offered his shop as part of the scheme, which has helped bring Newcastle back to life. 

For the past eight months the shop has been home to Vox Cyclops, an independent record store specialising in Australian and international underground music, as well as a gallery showcasing experimental works by independent artists. 

"They are taking care of the property and the place looks nice and tidy,"Ramesh says. "I was travelling during the past six to eight years and getting a commercial tenant wasn't working." 

 As with all Renew Newcastle projects, public liability insurance is covered under the scheme's umbrella policy and the tenants pay for their own contents insurance. "I just pay building insurance,"says Ramesh. 

Ultimately he hopes he will find a tenant who is able to pay some kind of rent, but in the meantime he's delighted for his property to be cared for and to do his bit for the city. He recommends the move to other landlords with empty properties.

"It's a very nice scheme where you are having problems getting tenants, it will get things moving and the city will look nice and people will go around and feel safe, so it's a step forward for the city. 

Visit the Vox Cyclops website

Read an interview with Renew Newcastle's Marni Jackson

Read about how Newcastle was 'renewed'


Vox Cyclops
515 Hunter Street
Newcastle, NSW 2300