Sydney-based developer Stasia is a step closer to securing approval for a $65 million commercial building in Sydney's Surry Hills, securing workplace safety start-up SafetyCulture as the building's sole tenant.
Plans to readapt the existing 1970s six-storey brick office building, located at 72-84 Foveaux Street, were submitted to council earlier this year, but subsequently withdrawn on advice that the planning amendment would have to be passed first.
The Candelapas-designed development will have an expanded footprint compared to the existing structure, providing 4,200sq m of lettable space.
Stasia, which is based in Surry Hills—and has worked predominantly on projects in and around the suburb, secured neighbouring startup SafetyCulture as the building's tenant, with upwards of 500 permanent desks expected for its staff.
Stasia director George Karageorge told The Urban Developer that a development application was lodged following the site's purchase in 2013 for 30-apartments, before being withdrawn to retain the buildings commercial footprint.
“Commercial is such a better resolution in those areas [Surry Hills] than residential because residential is short term profit, people develop and sell out.”
“Commercial projects give activation to the suburbs at each hour of the day, keeping the suburb vibrant, similar to other suburbs we are working in like Kings Cross and Potts Point.”
The re-adaptive design has also been tailored to meet the needs of flexible IT-operators, rather than conventional office users, with Karageorge pointing to the successful provisions for internet start-up company Canva for which it designed and developed 110 Kippax Street.
“When we worked to the limitations of what the building offered— the central lift core, not enough break-out areas, no end of journey amenities—we knew we needed a unique concept to support a creative and IT-focused business.”
“We managed to get an uplift in floor-space ratio by removing parking from the building in order to provide SafetyCulture with all the modern amenities that would be required in order to keep staff on site, adding event spaces and even catering options.”
Karageorge, who started Stasia with his late father in 1987, has worked closely with the projects architect Candepalas Associates' over the past 15 years on a number of projects, most notably The Pelican, a 48-apartment project in Surry Hills.
“George is creating a project of legacy and doesn't view himself as the lone custodian to benefit from this project,” Candalepas Architects director Angelo Candalepas said.
“He understands that these building will be passed onto another generation at some point.”
SafetyCulture, best known for its iAuditor app, has moved from strength-to-strength doubling its annual revenue to $28.3 million, up from $15.3 million the prior year.
“The new tenant is incredibly aspirational and have incredible foresight for investment in this area and because of the strong relationship between tenant and owner it gives us the ability to offer a possibility which is around artistic intent in architecture, which is rare,” Candalepas said.