Office buildings are getting their commercial fitouts in Sydney refurbished, as part of the landlords’ shift in focus towards both attracting and retaining tenants.
One of the more recent makeovers was Charter Hall’s office, a $4.75 million investment to refurbish the ground floor of their building at 65 Berry Street, turning approximately 1000m2 of commercial fitouts in Sydney into a lobby as well as complimentary collaborative space. This new ground floor has features such as a wellness area with free yoga and pilates, a non-profit café, an exhibition space, an artists’ studio and an auditorium that’s also free for tenants, with events like Wellness Weeks and complimentary drinks and tea for the staff of tenants.
Leasing Agent Michael Arcus, from Colliers International says that the renovations weren’t about driving up rent, as the ground floor only having the café as its tenant. He says that the refurbishing forgoes rentals for giving tenants better amenities, with an big, open space for work so that they’ll have a better experience in the building.
He explains that the office market in North Sydney remains buoyant thanks to the attraction of CBD occupants, and it’s good to see landlords innovate in order to attract and retain tenants.
Charter Hall’s Regional Portfolio Manager, Warwick Mayer, says that the decision to replace the offices was all about making the property stand out in the market. He says that the company believes that the so-called ‘third space’ the lobby provides will be great for retaining current customers as well as providing something special that can attract new ones.
The project was made with feedback from the building’s workers, with Mr. Mayer saying that the main idea was to create an inspiring and innovative space, taking ideas from design workshops and surveys in order to learn what their tenants really wanted and needed in a ground floor lobby.
The lobby features vibrant greenery to create a relaxing atmosphere, with free Wi-Fi to encourage people to hand around. The Symbol Café operates here too, with all of its profits going straight to the charity of the customer’s choosing.
My. Mayer says that they want the tenants to feel like part of a community in the building, a reflection of how workplace trends have change throughout the years.