Time & Place / Hickory Acquire Alexandria Site

16 June 2021

Diversified developer Time & Place has partnered with construction specialist Hickory to acquire an 8,089sqm site in Alexandria, 4km south of Sydney’s CBD, the second joint venture for the groups.

Acquired for an estimated $52.5m, the site is located at 23 – 27 Bourke Road and 4 – 43 Bowden Street in a B6 zone. The property was sold by Skylife with an approved stage 1 DA in place to transform the site into a high-quality, contemporary office precinct, leveraging its desirable location. Skylife had acquired the site in 2019/20 for $48.7m.

In a demonstration of its commitment to the site and its highly sought-after Alexandria positioning, Time & Place will commence construction on the project ahead of the pre-leasing process.

Demand for office space in the south Sydney market has grown rapidly over the 18-months, in part due to significant investment from Council as it endeavours to transform the area from an industrial precinct into a thriving community hub.

With Judith Neilson’s critically lauded White Rabbit gallery just minutes away and popular hospitality spots Mecca and The Grounds of Alexandria nearby, Alexandria’s evolution into a contemporary destination has been noticed by Sydney’s creative and corporate communities alike.

Most notably, Caltex recently moved its headquarters out of the CBD into Alexandria, saving shareholders an estimated $50m over 10 years by capitalising on the sharper rents offered in the area.

The site marks another step forward in a strategic acquisition phase for Time & Place. In 2020, the developer purchased a 940sqm site in inner-city Melbourne’s Southbank, also in partnership with Hickory; and a residential site in Melbourne’s leafy, Glen Iris which it will deliver in conjunction with Woolworths.

This expansion into Sydney’s commercial market comes on the heels of Time & Place’s success in East Melbourne, where it is currently developing Victoria Place, a luxury commercial building in a prominent location near Fitzroy Gardens.

Speaking about the acquisition in Alexandria, Time & Place director Tim Price said “ Gone are the days of tightly packed offices in the middle of a crowded city. We are conscious of the changing priorities amongst corporate tenants, and we want to ensure our latest offering in Alexandria reflects this. Plus, beyond extra space, moving out of the CBD has huge ramifications on a business’s overheads through its competitive pricing.

“ Location is a huge factor for us when we’re planning our projects. Alexandria is full of Sydney’s busiest cafes, in fact, its population almost doubles over the weekend with people lining up for brunch. We want to capitalise on this and deliver a commercial precinct which will see it thriving all week long.”

Michael Crombie, National Director of Property Sales & Leasing and Director in Charge of Colliers’ Sydney South office, says the office market is experiencing a period of rapid change. “ We are seeing a major resurgence of occupiers from the CBD and fringe markets coming t Alexandria. More occupiers today are looking for a cultural change; workers are bored of the CBD and want more – more space, more light and better value for money.”

Hickory co-founder Michael Argyrou likened the project’s potential to the group’s Market Lane project, adding “ We want to expand on the vision of the ‘future office’ that our South Melbourne development encompassed.

“ This vision is one that provides a life experience that enhances the wellbeing and productivity of its occupants. A ‘future office’ stimulates the senses, promotes creativity and enhances human interaction; it’s an office where people want to be.”

The deal was brokered by Colliers Michael Crombie. Revised plans are set to be submitted in August of this year.