17/07/2007 - 22:00

Tenant demand drives business parks

17/07/2007 - 22:00


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Developers who have secured large commercial sites around Perth are wasting no time transforming them into business parks, with at least five new developments recently announced.

Tenant demand drives business parks

Developers who have secured large commercial sites around Perth are wasting no time transforming them into business parks, with at least five new developments recently announced.

Osborne Park, Bibra Lake, Perth Airport, Jandakot and Burswood are among the areas earmarked for new business parks next year, with most to comprise a cluster of commercial and/or light industrial developments.

The first park scheduled for completion next year is ‘Airport Park’, a $17 million light industrial estate at Perth International Airport  (pictured above) comprising 24 warehouse units.

South African-based developer Harries Projects bought the 7,236 square metre site in March and will build the units, ranging from 500sq m to 1,000sq m in size, by April 2008.

Airport Park joint leasing agent and Knight Frank industrial director, Martin Reeson, said there was tremendous demand for stock of this kind, particularly from smaller companies looking to service the larger airport tenants.

“This business park will dovetail quite nicely with the larger developments for Coles, Toll Group, Linfox, Toshiba, Schlumberger, and SGS Australia that are under way. No-one is providing for these smaller, ancillary tenants,” he said.

Mr Reeson said there was not a lot of land left in Perth to build business parks, let alone those purely for office purposes.

The level of tenant pre-commitment largely determines the parks’ completion schedules.

One developer planning to take a wait and see approach on the development of a business park is Primewest, which recently paid $57 million for Amcor’s Bibra Lake headquarters on 38 hectares.

Apart from an existing 14,000sq m factory and small office complex, which will be leased back to Amcor, the site is expected to be developed with a light industrial/office park, adjacent to a number of bulky goods units and retail showrooms.

Primewest director David Schwartz said the acquisition was a good opportunity for the group to meet the unsatisfied demand for business parks.

“We’ll do some design and construct-type product but it really will depend on the level of pre-commitment we receive in the next 12 to 14 months,” he told WA Business News.

An even rarer sight in Perth is the pure office park concept, as demonstrated by the long-standing Garden Office Park on Scarborough Beach Road in Herdsman.

Taking the plunge on an office park in nearby Osborne Park is the VDM Group, which recently bought a 15ha block at 310 Selby Street for $15.5 million.
VDM Group is planning to develop a new 6,000sq m headquarters on the site, alongside five buildings of up to four storeys.

The $180 million project will be built in stages, depending on the level of demand, and is scheduled for completion by December 2010.

Meanwhile, Ascot Capital is adopting a similar approach to its office park at Jandakot Airport, where it is planning to build two 4,000sq m A-grade office buildings next year, followed by a further six buildings by 2017.

Located to the north of the airport, the 40,000sq m office park will be positioned within a 148ha business precinct comprising around 500,000sq m of leasable commercial, bulky goods retail and showroom, light industrial and warehouse space.

Other office parks on the drawing board around Perth include the Sands & McDougall site on Burswood Road in Burswood and, potentially, the 23,500sq m cleared site next to Ikea’s new development on Ellen Stirling Boulevard in Innaloo.

At Burswood, Watersun Property is planning an 8,000sq m office park consisting of a number of two-storey offices.

The development will also integrate an existing warehouse on the site and has the capacity to offer floorplates up to 4,000sq m in size.

Watersun bought the site in June for $19.5 million and expects to complete the project by March 2008.

Developer Tony Fini has opened the Innaloo site up to expressions of interest, with the intention of either selling the property or conducting a joint venture commercial office or mixed-commercial development.


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