Brisbane very well-stocked for CBD offices

An artist’s impression of Singapore-listed Wee Hur’s student accommodation development in Brisbane.

New and proposed office space in the Brisbane CBD is sufficient to meet demand for the next 18½ years, according to new analysis. 

A commercial office assessment report in support of an ­application by Singapore-listed developer Wee Hur, written by respected property analyst Urbis, also found the 321,440sqm of ­vacant space would provide ­another 20 years of supply if the 10-year net absorption rate of 16,140sqm a year were applied.

“Based on current net absorption figures, there is sufficient commercial office floor space in the new and proposed buildings to provide for the next 18½ years,” the report says.

“Including the current vacant floor space in the Brisbane CBD doubles this time period.”

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The assessment was lodged with Brisbane council for Wee Hur’s bid to reduce the commercial component of its Buranda Transit Orientated Development at Woolloongabba, 4km south of the CBD.

The office space is to be in the second stage. The first stage is under construction for “the largest purpose-built student accommodation in Brisbane”. It will have 1578 rooms, according to the company’s recent announcement to the Singapore stock exchange.

The Australian understands Wee Hur is also planning another student accommodation development for adjoining CBD sites, at 62 Ann and 89 Turbot streets, it bought in January for $63 million.

Since buying the site, Wee Hur has sought to alter the existing preliminary approvals given the changing market

The commercial office report outlines two scenarios. The first is the approved 7700sqm that it says would take 24 years to ­absorb. The second is a 1440sqm area of shared incubator space or offices, alongside other uses, a cinema, dining, gym, childcare centre and medical centre.

It proposes the inner south would absorb about 1430sqm of office space a year, including only 52sqm (3.6%) within the Wee Hur development.

“With a low market share, the proposed 1440sqm minor office offering at the subject site will be supportable by 2024-25, while the 7700sqm mixed-use offering will not be as supportable until 2043-44,” it says.

“Given the circumstances and changing market conditions since the preliminary approval in 2010, Wee Hur are pursuing a ­development typology that is slightly different to that of which is anticipated under the preliminary approval.”

Wee Hur bought the 1.7ha site from Anthony John Group in 2015 for $51.3 million. The third stage is a 168-unit residential development with commercial spaces at ground level. It is expected to launch early next year.

Since buying the site, Wee Hur has sought to alter the existing preliminary approvals given the changing market.

The transit oriented development will be built over the Buranda train station, and is located ­opposite a major teaching hos­pital, the Princess Alexandra Hospital.

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