South Sydney is already home to many showrooms catering to the home design sector including Coco Republic, Space, Domayne, Matt Blatt, Natuzzi Italia, Nick Scali, Harvey Norman, Blu Dot, Cosh Living and the Alexandria Homemaker Centre on O’Riordan Street. More recent additions have included Fisher & Paykel’s Experience Centre located in Collins on Bourke, opposite The Grounds on Bourke Road and Gianni & Costa bathroom centre in Maddox Street.

Planning changes enacted over the last two years, as a result of the Employment Lands Study of 2013, have seen a large tract of land, generally between O’Riordan Street, Bourke Road and from Gardeners Road through to Bowden Street; rezoned from Industrial IN1 to B6 Business Enterprise Corridor. The stated intent of the B6 zoning is to facilitate a wide variety of economic activities, as well as ‘other’ uses likely to attract and support higher value activities and promote better amenity. The long term aspiration for the zone was a mixed business precinct facilitated by a flexible approach to land use. In the short to medium term the zone was expected to remain reasonably industrial in character, with higher value uses moving in slowly over time.

Well that change is under way. Increasingly we are seeing advertisements and signs that previously would have headlined ‘warehouse for lease’ now reading ‘office/showroom for lease’. And many of these warehouses that are being repurposed for showroom/warehouses and are being snapped up by home design product businesses.

Tradelink’s new showroom now sits next to a new design concept showroom ‘Hive by Laminex’ in Bourke Road not far from Life Interiors new showroom/warehouse in the Alexandria Industrial Estate.

Still in the same estate and just around the corner in Huntley Street, the new Earp Bros Sydney flagship showroom celebrates their latest collection of innovative surface and tile solutions. Designed by renowned Sydney architectural firm Villa + Villa, the 1,000m2 space is guaranteed to evolve the way the Australian design industry views transforming hard surfaces. The products are all meticulously displayed in an art gallery style space, showcasing more than 1000 varieties of product by creating sectional display pods which ensure that each object category receives the focus it deserves.

We are also keeping a look out for a new showroom/ office for GWA Group Limited, who has leased 39 Collins Street Alexandria, a former chemical factory. GWA Group Limited is an ASX listed company that has Caroma, Dorf Clark, Dux, Gainsborough brands.

This repurposing trend of converting warehouses to showrooms is bound to continue as more leases expire and warehouse/logistics companies head west.

The effect on rentals in the area has been dramatic with spaces previously leasing two years ago for $150 – $160 psqm pa net, now realising rents of $220-$230 psqmpa – a 45-50% lift and this is for traditional office/warehouses space. There are other factors helping to drive these price increases which we have previously detailed in our Quarter 3 update last year – see here.

If you are looking for premises in South Sydney; would like to discuss your own property to ensure you are maximising your asset’s value;  or just like to chat about any property matter, feel free to contact Artie Kalpidis on 0438 383 333 or myself on 0439 383 444.


Author: Chris Sully

Chris is a Senior Executive of Link Property Services in Sydney NSW.  Chris is located in Link Property Services South Sydney office of Alexandria.