If you're looking to start up a business in Sydney CBD, one of the greatest challenges is finding suitable office space. Unlike looking for a flat or home, your commercial real estate is critical to your business - location and appearances are everything; but how do you balance the best expensive costs of prime commercial with your operations budget?
Australia has a commercial property rating system that helps businesses determine which type of property is best suited for their needs. From the most expensive Grade A Sydney CBD locale, to Grade D bare bones facilities, find out what grades of commercial property are out there and what it all means for your business.
Which Grade of Commercial Property is best suited to your business needs?
Grade A: Grade A properties are prime locations in highly sought-after addresses. The properties will be in the heart of the financial or business districts and be relatively new or recently refurbished, with state-of-the-art fixtures and fittings. Rents in Grade A offices will naturally tend to be higher, catering to the executive classes of Fortune 500 companies. Traditionally, Grade A property tends to be leased or bought by banks, brokerage houses and high-profile law firms. Meanwhile, with the latest boom in the demand for sustainable and ecologically advanced premises, many of the newest "green" buildings tend to fall within the A Grade. Cities like Sydney always growing and Grade A property is now available in many outside of the immediate CBD to business districts in the City Fringe, including Surry Hills and Pyrmont.
Grade B: As Grade A property tends to be scarce and relatively pricey, the majority of businesses, especially newer ventures, will opt for Grade B office space. Grade B buildings will be less expensive but include all your standard amenities to make a good impression. Grade B offices tend to be a little bit away from the prime markets, but they could be on a main strip in a smaller city fringe suburb. Smaller law firms, independent investment consultants or doctors' offices make great use of Grade B buildings. Many cities have Grade B office building clusters near airports or other transportation hubs, but away from the central "downtown" areas and business districts.
Grade C: Grade C properties are inexpensive, functional buildings. Furniture and fittings tend to be older and buildings are maintained to a lower standard than higher grade buildings. Grade C offices are best suited to call centres, small firms and start-ups and will tend to be older and located farther out of the central business districts. Don't look for pretty lobbies or plush carpeting in Grade C buildings; these are about function over form.
Grade D: Grade D office space is the least expensive commercial property grade - and for good reason. Office space in Grade D buildings tends to cramped, furnishings and fixtures are relatively shabby. Most of the space in the facilities will be used for storage or manufacturing. Grade D buildings are well outside the standard business areas, often located in industrial parks. Grade D properties are suited for manufacturing or distribution companies that require large warehouse industrial real estate in Sydney or storage space as adjuncts to office space.
Meanwhile, some central CBD areas have gone beyond the traditional grading system. Some of the most exclusive property is now considered "Premium" property above Grade A. Look for these at prime locations with "Harbour Views" and exceptional quality.
Keep in mind that when you pick your commercial real estate, it's more than just the grade that matters. Consider for example whether you need a store front. You can often go a grade up in your choices by downsizing your space requirements or looking outside the CBD to outer suburbs, such as the City Fringe.