Sydney office
Image: Canva.
  • Areas on CBD fringes may be seeing a resurgence
  • Includes benefits such as more parking and cheaper parking
  • Growing number of resources companies moving beyond the CBD

Office property has been an interesting sector to watch as Covid forced work-from-home [WFH] onto billions across the world.

There are arguments to say that Covid accelerated more flexible working arrangements, while others believe it will pass as people grow weary of the arrangement.

Earlier this year, The Property Tribune reported that “businesses did not exactly rush back en masse to their offices full time once restrictions were eased, which became a problem for city councils to struggle with.”

In October a survey found that with more flexible working arrangements, as many as one third of Australians would ‘move if they could’, more details about that survey here.

Where Australians would like to work

finder -WFH-relocate
Source – Finder survey of 678 workers September 2021

Campaigns were run across the country, in an attempt to lure workers back into the city, as well as introduce a little fun into the equation. Melbourne had the ‘Fab Friday‘ initiative in April, and Brisbane had ‘Fridays in the City‘.

The campaigns also got creative, with Brisbane using augmented reality gaming to put a new spin on the city. Players of games like Pokemon Go would “be drawn into the city to battle other players and collect unique items at five designated Fridays in the City locations,” said the Property Council.

Finding the middle ground

While the push to the suburbs didn’t quite become reality, as some predicted earlier in the year, some areas close to the CBD are seeing positive signs.

Qube Director Capital and Equity, Geoff Davieson, said Subiaco had seen a strong resurgence in popularity in recent years as a growing number of significant resource sector operators made the move from neighbouring West Perth and the CBD.

“We currently have an occupancy rate of 100% across our Subiaco assets and hence are looking for suitable sites and assets that will only further our investment and commitment to Subiaco and its future in the long term. The challenge is finding them.”

Geoff Davieson, Qube Director Capital and Equity

Mr Davieson said that while Subiaco had suffered as a result of the closure of Subiaco Oval and the Children’s Hospital in recent years, it was also benefiting from the current boom in the resources sector.

Key players such as Northern Star, Newmont, Newcrest, Regis Resources, AIC Resources and Australian Potash are some of those who have relocated to Subiaco in recent years.

Only 5 kilometres from the Perth CBD, offices in places such as Subiaco have a number of benefits for both employees and visitors.

Mr Davieson said the parking ratios in Subiaco were a big plus drawing in commercial tenants with an average of one bay per 40sqm compared to one per 200sqm on average in the CBD. And, unlike the CBD and West Perth, there is no additional parking levy for Subiaco car bays which adds some $1,200 per bay per year.

Thinking outside the skyscraper

Aside from parking, going a little further afield seems to have other advantages too.

Geoff Davieson said Qube’s long held strategy is offering tenants the personal touch of dealing direct with the company’s founders and partners as owners and landlords, rather than going through an intermediary.

Mr Davieson also said that the council played a key role in ensuring Subiaco continued to develop as a commercial hub outside the CBD as well as a hospitality and retail centre. He added that outgoing Mayor Penny Taylor has been committed to reducing red tape so that Subiaco could continue to attract business and development.

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