SHAPE Sees Office Market Surging


Fitout and refurbishment company SHAPE Australia has seen strong revenue from the commercial sector in line with international investment that has driven strong upgrade and refurbishment in Australia’s CBDs.

The company is capitalising on Australia’s healthy commercial sector, booking $335 million in work to date this financial year following a record 2015.

The latest Property Council of Australia Office Market Report shows demand for commercial space is on the rise, with vacancy rates falling in 13 of 17 markets surveyed. With more than 780,000 square metres of stock to come online in 2016 nationally, SHAPE is confident it will exceed its FY15 revenue of $412 million.

SHAPE Group Executive, Property, Glen Thompson said the commercial office sector accounted for almost half of all SHAPE’s work as premium grade offices come online and existing asset owners ramp up their offerings to lure tenants in the competitive market.

“What we are seeing is a continued demand for office fitout and refurbishment and a renewed interest in showpiece offices. These are highly considered innovative environments that combine the best in finishes with the latest in workplace productivity design to stand out from the rest,” he said.

“First impressions are important and we have many clients using internationally-experienced architects and partners to deliver statement offices.

SHAPE Group Executive, Property, Glen Thompson[/caption]“We are seeing particular growth in Sydney and Melbourne, which reflects the latest Office Market Report, but in these markets there is also a change underway.

This change is being driven by the tech companies moving in to CBDs and turning traditional office design on its head.

“We are also seeing big change in the legal sector where walls are coming down in favour of open plan, as well as more social and executive lounge areas for clients and staff.”

SHAPE, which changed its name from ISIS Group Australia in 2015, completed over 212,000 square metres of commercial office work in FY15 and transformed a total of 360,000 square metres of space across Australia.

While office accounts for almost 50 per cent of revenue, education has emerged as a strong sector, with SHAPE completing $78 million worth of education projects in FY15.

It is currently working on universities across the nation, including University of Technology Sydney, Australian Catholic University Melbourne, University of Melbourne, Curtin University and Edith Cowan University.

This year major projects include a large scale refurbishment of Challenger Financial Services Martin Place offices, delivery of new offices for DLA Piper and Allens at Grocon’s new 480 Queen Street tower in Brisbane, continued major works to Canberra Hospital and the Australian Catholic University, as well as a pipeline of South Australian projects including refurbishment of the BankSA head office in Adelaide.

“While Sydney and Melbourne are traditionally busy markets, due to the vacancy rates in Perth, Canberra, Adelaide and Darwin we are seeing demand for commercial refurbishment work surge in these areas,” Mr Thompson said.

“The demand for refurbishment and fitout work is heartening and puts us in good stead to finish FY16 on a high.”

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