Strong investment continues in the city centre.
Wollongong’s office market experiencing surging demand.
Wollongong’s office market has experienced surging demand for office space over the last 12 months, underpinned by improving economic conditions and solid employment growth. According to the Property Council of Australia’s Office Market Report 2017, Wollongong’s office market vacancy rate outperformed Canberra, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Darwin CBD. Wollongong’s vacancy rate fell from 12.2% (July 2016) to 11.2% (January 2017). Wollongong’s ‘A’ grade vacancy rate had the largest improvement, falling from 8.5% to 5.6%.
On the back of strong office market demand, strong sales continue in Wollongong’s commercial market. Following the record sale of 90 Crown Street for $43.9M, investor interest continues in the Wollongong City Centre. The sale achieved a rate of $4786 per square metre, with the Department of Human Services and Roads & Maritime Services recently renewing their leases on the premises. According to Knight Frank's Director Commercial Sales NSW, Richard Garland, Wollongong is a strong and fast-growing market. 'There is a strong rental market in Wollongong's commercial sector, with positive effective rental growth' Mr Garland said.
The David Jones site at the corner of Crown and Church Streets is now for sale following the decision to relocate the department store to Wollongong Central. The property includes 3503 sq m land area over two sites comprises 8998 sq m of retail space and a five-level car park building and basement storage of 6993 sq m. Agents for the sale highlight the multi-faceted potential of the property, with options for prospective buyers including owning and occupying the property, with the benefit of a large flexible floor space; re-positioning the asset or fully redeveloping the site.
Wollongong Private Hospital celebrates one year.
Wollongong Private Hospital recently celebrated one year since opening its doors on 18 January 2016. In the first year, the hospital has had nearly 15,000 patient admissions; 14,000 surgical procedures and just over 950 babies delivered. 80 new doctors have been accredited at the hospital, while total staff numbers have also increased to over 500.
There are also plans to expand on the current site with more beds and operating theatres to come under a proposed $18.5 million extension. ‘We are committed to bringing new hospital services to the region’ CEO David Crowe said. ‘On certain days of the week we’re already at capacity with our theatre schedule so we need to expand and open more theatres and more patient beds'.
Residents moving into the city centre.
As more apartments are sold off the plan, and ever increasing numbers of cranes reach high into the sky, it appears just as many are coming to completion, with scaffolding being removed and new cosmopolitan-inclined residents moving into the city centre.
The forecast 150% increase in the city centre population over the next 2-3 years is well underway. A number of major projects like the Oxford on Crown and Smith Street Apartments are already completed, with the next 12 - 18 months seeing the likes of The Crown, Harbour Apartments, Vivid, IRT’s Pioneer Place and The Oracle anticipated for completion.