- Young entrepreneurs are filling up Adelaide’s empty buildings
- Tech startups could soon become big business in commercial real estate
More than 200,000 square metres of vacant office space in Adelaide’s CBD could start filling up, thanks to a new high-speed internet that will be rolled out to city-based commercial buildings.
Ten Gigabit Adelaide will provide a fibre optic network to businesses in the CBD up to 10 gigabits per second, which is 100 times faster than the National Broadband Network’s top speeds of 100 megabits.
Companies and landlords will not be charged for installation costs as the network will be built by Adelaide City Council, which is pumping $12 million into the project, and TPG.
The cost of accessing the network, due to roll out early 2018, is expected to be less than other internet services on the market.
Adelaide’s lord mayor Martin Haese called the technology a “game-changer”.
“We will soon have a technological advantage which will make us an even more compelling place to set up a business or regional headquarters,” he said.
“I say to the leaders of organisations paying huge dollars for office space on the top floors of skyscrapers in cities like Sydney or Hong Kong – consider doing business in Adelaide instead.”
Connecting buildings to Ten Gigabit Adelaide would help activate underutilised and vacant buildings, increase rental values and incentivise building owners to refurbish their properties, Mr Haese said.
Daniel Gannon, Property Council of Australia’s South Australia executive director, said the project would help pull down the 16.1-per-cent vacancy rate in the Adelaide CBD – the country’s second-highest behind Perth.
“Right now, we have 230,000 square metres of vacant office space in the CBD,” he said, adding that this was the equivalent of 11 Adelaide Ovals.
“We believe that particular project has potential to start filling up those buildings with businesses and business owners.”
He noted that there has been a decline of ASX-listed companies being based in Adelaide over the past 40 years, with only two ASX-listed companies headquartered in the city.
“The short story is there is no singular economic panacea that will replenish South Australia’s economy overnight and we are very much playing a long game.
“Projects and infrastructure like 10 Gigabit Adelaide form a very important chapter when it comes to the story that we’re wanting to tell (investors and business-owners) long-term.”
Nigel McBride, who heads up South Australia’s chamber of commerce Business SA, said the project would encourage the “explosion of entrepreneurs” in Adelaide.
“If you’ve got a knowledge worker who can live anywhere in the world, they’ll want to live somewhere they want to live,” he said, adding that it would also attract big businesses to base their global offices in Adelaide.
“We’ve got this vibrant boutique city which has one of Australia’s fastest and most affordable high-speed networks.”
Mr McBride said international investors are snapping up commercial buildings in Adelaide as they could see a strong future in the city’s commercial real estate market.
“We’re seeing international investors coming into the commercial property market (in Adelaide) because they can see the value proposition today is very good, and it’s going to be extremely good going forward; this is (about) getting in on the ground floor.”
Future cities will be all about speed of networks, Mr McBride said, and Adelaide will be ready for that.
“I think in a global, disrupted, digital economy, you don’t want to be the biggest, most congested, polluted, over-populated city. You want to be in a city where you can do things fast.
“The smart money would be getting into a commercial property (in Adelaide) and opportunities now.”