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Serviced offices find niche

Falling vacancies in the Perth CBD have created opportunities on which enterprising serviced office suite operating companies are capitalising.

One of these is Westgate Business Centre, which started up four years ago.

Today the company takes up two floors of Council House at 27 St George’s Terrace, in the heart of CBD business territory.

It is expanding rapidly and plans to launch similar business enterprises into Eastern States markets in the Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne CBDs.

Westgate managing director and former Colliers Jardine executive Nicholas Masters said in the past four years the company has registered an 86 per cent occupancy rate at its first office complex on the third floor and on the ground floor of the Legal and General building at 267 St George’s Terrace.

He conceded that the building was not a glossy highrise, but said it offered good quality space and was well-located with a car park for each office.

“It enabled us to provide a city address with river views at acceptable levels of rent.” Mr Masters said.

“This is what really got us going. However, we did a lot of research over a two year period before we actually pushed the button.”

The company took 852 square metres originally and fitted out about 500 sqm to give it the eighteen complete offices comprising stage one.

It then expanded to take up additional accommodation on the ground floor of the same building.

Three months later it started fitting out stage two and this was fully leased five months later.

Today the company is fully committed at the refurbished Council House. The building was gutted and all services such as air-conditioning systems, lifts, and fire suppression systems have been replaced.

Westgate has totally renovated the fourth floor which now has two offices under contract and another two under negotiation.

The centre provides a modern office environment complete with equipment, support staff and furnishings and access to a large boardroom and secretarial services if necessary.

One side features views of the nearby park and Swan River, while the other offers historic buildings as a backdrop.

In total, Westgate leases in excess of 1,400 sqm and provides fully furnished and serviced offices to more than forty companies on a long-term or short term lease basis. Many of these are nationally and internationally based major corporations.

Mr Masters said expansion has been demand driven.

“We felt there was a demand because we kept getting enquiries from people who were not satisfied in the existing marketplace,” he said.

“We are supplying a market we deem not to have been serviced in the past.”

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