BACK TO THE FUTURE: The Rise of Suburban Office Parks in New COVID Era

Australia’s identity in the new COVID-era has been likened to the early 1980s, with an emerging manufacturing sector, home grown innovation, and the rise of the suburban office park.

As Back to the Future debuted in cinemas in 1985 with a fresh-faced Michael J Fox, the 33 ha Brisbane Technology Park was making its own debut in Eight Mile Plans, 15km south-east of the Brisbane CBD.

It is a concept that has stood the test of time, with its open outdoor spaces, low density, surplus parking, and accessible urban setting showing strong appeal to businesses planning a future in the new COVID world.

Graystone Group, which has overseen the growth of the BTP precinct since 2001, says the open format of suburban office parks offsets many challenges being experienced by their CBD counterparts.

Graystone’s Director of Developments & Property Management, Kirsty Heymink, said the precinct is home to more than 200 businesses and expected the number to grow as COVID restrictions begin to ease.

“There is still a level of positivity in the market, despite the challenges we’ve all faced,” she said.

“In recent weeks we have started fielding new enquiries from small to medium-sized businesses who are looking to spread their workforce across larger, more flexible spaces. The green shoots are emerging, albeit cautiously, and we’re in an excellent position to nurture them.”

Ms Heymink said Brisbane Technology Park has evolved sustainably over time to deliver a leading master planned precinct of premium A-grade equivalent office buildings, serviced office suits, a boutique hotel, casual dining, and expansive outdoor amenity.

“Business parks have the luxury of space and master planning, so larger floor plates are commonplace and replace the need for excessive building heights,” Ms Heymink said.

“Buildings range between one and three levels and feature secure stair access, creating less reliance on lifts. The office park model also enables businesses to spread their workforce over multiple locations to mitigate risk, with flexible lease terms.

“This approach enables companies to keep some degree of separation between team members without having to sacrifice productivity and collaboration, while maintaining the benefits of social interaction, idea sharing, and a supportive workplace culture.  

“There is also a reduced dependence on public transport, with ample free street parking and low-cost onsite parking. These are an attractive proposition for companies grappling with how their workforce can function safely, and productively, until a vaccine for COVID is available.”  

Ms Heymink said COVID has proven to many businesses that working from home, while achievable in the short term, brings its own challenges of isolation, poor network infrastructure, and lessened productivity.

“While there is still an important and undeniable place for offices in our future, they may not be as CBD-centric as they once were,” she said.

In addition to Brisbane Technology Park, Graystone Group also manages BTP Westlink Green in Darra, and BTP Northshore Hamilton.

Graystone Group

Established in 1985, Graystone Group manages commercial office assets across Brisbane Technology Park, Westlink Green and Northshore Hamilton. Its core operations include precinct development, construction, project management, property management, and investment. The Queensland Government appointed Graystone as Development Manager for the 33ha Brisbane Technology Park precinct in 2001.

If you are looking to relocate your business and are interested to know more about BTP please contact our friendly and knowledgeable leasing team on 3368 9099, or alternatively have a look at our current listings.

 

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