Tech firms join Apple and Amazon in Sydney leasing flood

Sydney’s CBD.
Sydney’s CBD.

Tech firms are following industry giants like Apple, Amazon, LinkedIn and Dropbox to Sydney’s CBD in increasing numbers, research shows, with companies flooding into the city at a rate of more than three a month.

A report from Cushman and Wakefield says tech firms have signed around 40 new leases for spaces in Sydney’s CBD over the last 12 months, ranging from tiny 100sqm offices to multiple floors totalling more than 17,000sqm.

According to the report, the tech industry will usurp the finance and insurance sectors as the main driver of space take-up in the CBD over the next five years, with new tech demand expected to be more than three times that of the other industries combined.

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Around 64,000sqm of tech company leases have been inked in the heart of the city in the last year.

Cushman and Wakefield national director of research John Sears says that while Macquarie Park has, until now, owned the mantle as the city’s key tech hub, the CBD has bounced back amid a battle for the hearts and minds of potential employees.

Sydney tech leases leasing

Leases to tech businesses in the Sydney CBD over the past 12 months. Source: Cushman and Wakefield

“For many years, Sydney’s tech hub was Macquarie Park. This was driven by a range of factors such as a desire to create a Silicon Valley/Stamford University-type research and innovation relationship with Macquarie University, campus-style office accommodation and access to warehousing space for inventory,” Sears says.

“However, software applications are now usually supplied over the web rather than on disks and with people the major asset of tech firms, management are keen to establish a work environment to attract and retain the best talent.”

The largest overall lease in Sydney’s CBD over the last 12 months was for the Sydney Startup Hub at Wynyard Green, which while not specifically a tech lease, is expected to house a significant number of tech startups and companies.

Sears says growth in the tech sector will see about 12,000 new jobs created in Sydney over the next five years, which “at eight square metres per person (means) a requirement for about 96,000sqm of Tech Service space”.