Merchant - common area
Common area of the Merchant. Image supplied.
  • Merchant follows W Property's acquisition of 49 serviced apartments at 3 Hosking Place
  • Will be transformed into 42 boutique strata commercial suites ranging from 36 sqm to 113 sqm
  • Comes as the NSW government compulsory acquired 11 office buildings to make way for new railway line

The first new strata office project to be developed in Sydney’s CBD for over a decade has hit the market.

Merchant, which will be undertaken by W Property – owned by Michael and Prue Williams – follows the team’s acquisition of 49 serviced apartments across the lower seven levels at 3 Hosking Place, located behind Martin Place.

These apartments will be transformed into office space, with the project resulting in 42 boutique strata commercial suites ranging from 36 sqm to 113 sqm. All will have a private bathroom, gallery bar and balcony.

The building will have exclusive shared facilities such as a full-time concierge, café-bar in the lobby, communal workspaces, meeting rooms and end of trip facilities.

The suites will be priced from $792,000.

Most expensive commercial strata space

Mr Williams said Merchant was a follow up to their development at 350 George Street. Space in this project is now selling for $30,000 per sqm – the most expensive commercial strata space in the nation.

“We have a wait list of buyers for 350 George Street, with very few owners wanting to sell,” he said.

“That provides strong evidence that there is high demand for quality strata space in the Sydney CBD, and hence why we have decided to do the nearby project at Hosking Place.

“It is unusual for a residential building to be transformed into commercial space, but we are confident our unique design will be a success.

“We have modelled Merchant off 350 George Street, but we have added many more shared facilities for occupiers, as well as balconies.

“The strata space in Merchant will also be more affordable than the heritage building at 350 George Street, at circa $20,000 per square metre, so we anticipate strong buyer demand when it launches to the market next month.”

Michael Williams, W Property

Ms Williams added the design and offerings of the suites was reflective of change tenenat demand.

“Merchant provides a whole new type of strata space – it’s a hybrid between conventional strata offices and a lifestyle offering,” she said.

“This is the way offices are going; they are much more lifestyle driven than corporate driven.”

merchant lobby
Lobby area of the Merchant. Image supplied.

Strong demand for flexible workspaces

The strata suites are being marketed for sale by Knight Frank’s Andrew Harford and Jessen O’Sullivan with Noonan Property’s Tim Noonan and Ben Kennedy.

Mr Harford said the new suites would fall the gap in the market brought about by the New South Wales government’s compulsory acquisition of eleven CBD buildings, to facilitate the Sydney Metro Western Line.

“Owner occupiers displaced by the acquisitions commencing at the end of 2022 will be looking for alternative space for their offices,” he said.

“There is also strong demand in the market from occupiers reducing their space requirements following COVID, including for those who are now living or working remotely but still want a CBD-based space for days they need to be in the city. “

Andrew Horford, Knight Frank

“In the past owners have bought office buildings and strata titled the space to sell off, but these projects haven’t been undertaken for some time due to the economic landscape. “

Mr Harford concluded that the new suites will allow businesses to own assets in the CBD, a precinct typically dominated by institutional owners.

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