The new emerging “brain hubs” are increasingly fringe suburbs such as Richmond/Cremorne and Prahran in Melbourne, and Pyrmont and the perennial Surry Hills in Sydney.
Suburbs such as Cremorne are in demand for their gritty street life and access to public transport and cycling routes. Coupled with a mixed use and industrial heritage, the ingredients are there to develop a new creative hub that attracts a depth of talent, particularly in the technology sector.
As a result, building approvals have risen 220% in the City of Yarra, with Bates Smart alone currently undertaking five projects in the area. Projects such as Albert St combine contextual sensitivity with a high level of staff amenity including social hubs, collaboration zones and access to external space, maximizing the benefits of the location and ability to attract staff.
Similarly, in nearby Prahan, Bates Smart’s redevelopment of the Jam Factory is focused on the creative and technology sectors, including co-working providers. A vibrant, mixed use development, Jam Factory will create an ecosystem of destinational spaces. The “bump” interactions so important to innovation are facilitated, not just within businesses, but between both individuals and businesses across the broader precinct.
In Sydney, the shift of the city west triggered by Barangaroo has reinvigorated a suburb that combines the character spaces attractive to the black collar worker with the amenity of the CBD - Pyrmont. Bates Smart’s Workshop will create a vertical community that will allow cross pollination of ideas between the buildings’ inhabitants as well as tapping into the vibrant amenity the area delivers.
More than a decade ago, Richard Florida’s Rise of the Creative Class highlighted the importance of environments that encourage creativity in driving future economic growth. If our current projects are anything to go by, the future looks bright for the city fringe in our two major cities.