The conventional office, complete with white walls, cubicle desk arrangements and flickering fluorescent lights, could become a thing of the past as more businesses steer away from traditional layouts in preference of creative floor plans.
Colliers International has experienced a growing trend that suggests a-typical work environments can stimulate productivity and innovation, having closed four deals for creative office space in the Cremorne and Richmond areas in the past six weeks.
“In recent times, the demand for unconventional office space has been the most notable request from the modern-day tenant,” Metro Office Leasing Agent Chris Meehan said.
“By inhabiting creative offices, businesses are endeavouring to reflect their unique offering to potential clients by their physical surroundings."He said this recent market trend has been no more popular than in Cremorne, whose industrial past still permeates through its one-way streets and red brick factories and has become a defining feature in several office fit outs.
“Many of the landlords in this precinct have kept the old façades of their buildings, which create a distinctive juxtaposition between the business of the old and the new,” Mr Meehan said.
Colliers International’s recent transactions have been indicative of the type of tenants flourishing in the area. On November 1, tech start-up company RateMyAgent relocated within the area from a 300 square metre office to a 600 square metre office on Balmain Street.
“Tenants, in this line of business, can grow exponentially so it’s important that there are larger offerings for them to grow into,” Mr Meehan said.
Around the corner on Cubitt Street, marketing company W3 Digital is moving a few properties away to take up a level-three space in a new development.
“We are witnessing tenants waiting up to six months for the right space to be developed, which exemplifies the increased demand and shortage of supply for premium office space in Cremorne,” Mr Meehan said.
"Tenants are happy to pay a premium for a space that reflects their creative offering and prosperous business model.”
Mr Meehan also said more conventional tenants are also moving away from the standard office offering.
In Cremorne Street, for example, construction company Total Construction will take 300 square metres of office with exposed concrete ceilings and polished floors.
“It doesn’t matter if the tenants are in finance, law, construction or environmental consulting, most requests are for exposed surfaces, polished concrete and great natural light,” Mr Meehan said.
He said creative work spaces would become the preferred choice of discerning tenants, as they opened up a plethora of options for prospective tenants.
“In the Melbourne metro market, it can be tedious finding the right tenant,” he said.
“Providing a unique offering where tenants are excited to come to work will ensure a long-term tenancy, a favourable rent and an amiable relationship between lessor and lessee.”