DETECTING an untapped market niche in the commercial Perth CBD property market, Saracen Properties has changed its development plans on the site of the old Bible House at 161 St Georges Terrace, marketing the development as corporate strata offices.
If the development goes ahead, 161 St Georges Terrace would be the first strata office development of substantial size in the Perth CBD.
The development has been altered from an eight-level building with 1350 square metre floor plates to two slender towers, each with a 16-storey building containing 5000sq m.
Floor plates are to be 400sq m and the two buildings could cater for tenants requiring from 400sq m to 2500sq m.
Saracen Properties principal Luke Saraceni said the property industry had forgotten about small to medium tenants in its pandering to large multi-national tenants.
He said the majority of professional services business in Perth didn’t need 10,000sq m floor plates and didn’t want to be regulated to a nondescript corner of a floor mainly taken up by a larger tenant.
“It is now far cheaper, plus the appreciation, for businesses to by an office than rent,” Mr Saraceni said. “They can own their own floor, control the power.
“They don’t have to be the pimple on the pumpkin.”
CB Richard Ellis property analyst Andrew Woodley-Page said strata offices were a huge market in Sydney with the total stock of strata offices equal in area to West Perth.
While there are only a few strata offices in Perth this year, a record price of around $3,500/sq m was paid for strata offices at 33 Barrack Street. In Sydney, strata offices sell in excess of $8,000/sq m.
Mr Woodley-Page said the Saracen Properties development would be beneficial for the city because the development would cater for tenants who would of otherwise be lost to fringe or suburban locations.
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