09/01/2008 - 22:00

Como value attracts business

09/01/2008 - 22:00

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As popular commercial suburbs put up the ‘no vacancy’ signs, many businesses have been forced to look to neighbouring areas to find space to accommodate their growing enterprises.

Como value attracts business

As popular commercial suburbs put up the ‘no vacancy’ signs, many businesses have been forced to look to neighbouring areas to find space to accommodate their growing enterprises.

Como is one such area to have enjoyed recent growth, with its space and lower rents attracting resources groups as well as long-standing St Georges Terrace corporate spin doctors, NCS Group.

Businesses operating in Como include listed property developer Port Bouvard Ltd, Jones Ballard Property Group, Norse Motors Volvo, Aquila Resources, Medusa Mining, Nido Petroleum and GME Resources.

Nickel explorer GME Resources moved in to Como about six months ago after struggling to find large enough premises near its old home in Canning Bridge.

GME managing director James Sullivan said the business had leased 150 square metres in Canning Bridge, but was looking to upgrade to 400sqm and found it difficult to secure premises.

He eagerly took up some space that came up on Canning Highway in Como last year, which also offered cheaper rent.

“There are decent coffee shops and some lunch bars, but it’s not flash,” Mr Sullivan said.

He said he would have liked to have moved the business to Mends Street in South Perth but again was confronted by a lack of available office space.

The overflow of commercial operations from South Perth in to Como is happening on a larger scale between resources-dominated West Perth and Subiaco, with many miners having to move further along Hay Street in order to find enough space to grow.

Yet growth for areas such as Como will be restricted by a lack of large office developments, according to property analysts.

Jones Lang LaSalle WA research analyst Andrew Bouhlas said there were not a lot of commercial sites in Como. He said there could be a few new strata offices emerging in the coming years, but doubted that there would be major office park construction in the area.

Mr Bouhlas said Herdsman and Belmont were other fringe areas enjoying growth, and would continue to grow on the back of new office developments.

NCS director Chris Codrington said the decision to move the PR group from the bustling west end of St Georges Terrace to Como was purely financial.

The company’s lease expired in the middle of last year, as commercial rents in Perth soared.

Faced with a steep rent increase, Mr Codrington began searching for office space on the city fringes, including Nedlands, West Perth and Subiaco.

But through an acquaintance he stumbled on some space in Como that is “clean, bright and nice”.

The office space, on Preston Street, also came at a third of what it would have cost the business to remain in the city.

But the move didn’t come without some drawbacks.

“It is the first time I have been out of the city in 12 years,” Mr Codrington said. “I miss it enormously.”

But he said selling the move to staff had not posed a problem because they received free parking and it was easier for most to get in to the office.

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