Back to News

Adapative Reuse in the Industrial Market

By Josh Falco, Industrial Lead.

2020 was the year that changed the norm. We thought we had it all together but instead, we were dealt with a global pandemic that has changed the construction industry in more ways than we could imagine, especially the Industrial market.

The industrial market accounts for 20% of Australia’s GDP through manufacturing, retail trade, wholesale and transport. Queensland makes up 18.9% of this!  Since the pandemic, we have seen this market go through some significant growth with a common theme from developers.

“If you can find me the land, I’ll buy it!”

When we look at warehouses and their potential, we split the market into two types of classifications; primary and secondary.

Primary – modern design (+10 years), good condition and proximity to major infrastructure.

Secondary – older designs (>10 years), poor condition and inferior location.

The primary classification will serve storage and distribution, manufacturing, cold storage, data centres and business parks. But it begs the question, what do we do with the secondary warehouses? Like our houses, our commercial buildings, why can’t we repurpose our existing warehouses?

Leading the way, Sydney has The Grounds of Alexandria which has reutilized a 100-year-old industrial precinct to deliver one of the best experiences Sydney has to offer. Nearby is Work Inc in Lavender Bay, offering a unique fit-out to aspiring startups as a coworking space. In Queensland, I feel we are still somewhat behind our neighbours. There are some projects along these lines, such as existing warehouses turned into breweries, like BrewDog at Murrarie or everyone’s favourite, Howards Smith Wharves. The FitazFK team has converted an old Kangaroo Point warehouse into one of Brisbane’s hottest gyms.

For some time now I’ve been trying to convince people that the industrial market is becoming ‘cool’, and if we shift our mentality of a warehouse being a dust protector, I strongly believe this will be the case. With the large open plan that warehouses offer, alongside car parking, they have so much potential – wedding and event spaces, hair salons…

What else can you do with your space?