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Leaving the CBD

FACED with rising parking expenses and problematic client access, among other issues, many businesses are examining their choice of locale and wondering whether they need to be in the CBD.

Over time, businesses have been enticed away from the CBD to outlying areas, resulting in the decentralisation of commercial development to the suburbs.

Subiaco, West Perth and Belmont are among the suburbs to have benefited from the exodus.

Significant CBD exits include Centrelink’s relocation to Osborne Park, moves by SGIO and Phillips Petroleum to West Perth, Hatch to East Perth, Western Mining to Belmont and the Computer Science Corporation, which will move into its custom design-built headquarters in Subiaco later this year.

Public relations firms 303 and Clarity Communications are among other businesses to have moved to Subiaco.

After considering West Perth and Adelaide Terrace, 303 chose to relocate to Subiaco, where it could occupy a brand new building and reduce outgoings. 

For Clarity Communications the move from City West to Subiaco was focused more on providing a pleasant and easily accessible work environment for staff.

According to Colliers International research manager David Cresp, the move from the Perth CBD by a number of companies was due to expensive car parking fees and companies’ desire for more accessible locations.

“Either way, Subiaco has become a booming office market in the last few years, with an increasing amount of new strata-office developments,” Mr Cresp said.

Part of Subiaco’s attraction is its ability to provide for campus-style accommodation.

This is because there has been a surge in demand for low-rise buildings with campus-style accommodation and larger floor plates.

“We decided to relocate, as our 10-year lease had expired, and West Perth offered close proximity to the CBD at a much lower rental cost,” SGIO State manager Garry Moore said in explanation of the decision to move.

Another insurance company, RAC, will soon follow suit, recently reaching an agreement with ING Real Estate and Lewis Land Group to relocate its headquarters to a $32.8 million building on the former Metropolitan Markets site on Wellington Street, West Perth.

“It should be noted that West Perth does not often accommodate these large scale campus-style developments, as it has very few sites that can go over 5,000sq m, and the RAC will be taking one of these,” Mr Cresp said.

The Belmont area is increasingly being considered as a viable and attractive business destination due to its location and affordable land-prices. There currently is an abundance of office development planned, particularly in the mixed-use sector.

“Amongst other mining tenants, Western Mining has relocated to Belmont, as it is conveniently located between the airport and the CBD and still offers affordable land prices,” Mr Cresp told WA Business News.

Although other areas are attracting more commercial development, the CBD will continue to remain Perth’s largest office market, however.

“Relocation from the CBD will only suit certain tenants and new developments in the CBD indicate it is still popular,” Mr Cresp said.

For example, a new development at 161 St Georges Terrace is setting new benchmarks in the quality of strata office accommodation being offered, he said.

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