A guide to serviced offices and office space to rent in Adelaide as well as general information that may be useful if you are thinking of renting offices in the city.
History & Geography
Australia’s fifth largest city is located in the south of the country on the east shore of Gulf St Vincent. The city sits on the coast on the Adelaide Plains, slightly to the north of the Fleurieu Penninsula. Adelaide, including its surrounding suburbs, takes up approximately 12 miles of the coast, from Sellicks Beach in the north to Gawler in the south. Before the British occupation of Australia the area was inhabited by the Kaurna aboriginal tribe. In 1836 South Australia was officially declared Britain’s newest colony. Adelaide was designed by Colonel William Light, who was the first Surveyor-General of South Australia. He designed the city to rest prominently on the higher ground adjacent to the River Torrens. Unlike many settlements in Australia, Adelaide was not a destination for convicts from England, but rather free labourers, who chose to work on the surrounding farms to earn money and gain a chance to buy their own land. Wool production and wheat farming originally formed the basis of the local economy and the town quickly grew, swollen by immigrants from Europe, mostly the UK. In 1841 silver was discovered in the area, providing a major boost to Adelaide’s economy, and causing more settlers to flock to the new colony. The late 19th century saw the city modernised, with street lamps installed, the University of Adelaide founded and the Happy Valley Reservoir opened. By this time the city was exporting meat, wool, wine and fruit and was booming economically. This boom continued until the 1930s when the Great Depression hit. The advent of WWII pulled the city from its economic slump and due to its safe location became a centre of war manufacturing, especially ship building. The city opened its first airport in 1955. In 1991 the collapse of State Bank sent the area into a major economic dip from which it has only relatively recently emerged from.
Health care and social assistance are the largest employers currently in Adelaide. The retail trade is the second largest sector, employing approximately 12 percent of the workforce. Additionally the electronics and defence industries make up large parts of the economy, as does manufacturing. General Motors has a large plant in Adelaide which produces approximately half the cars manufactured in Australia. The electronics industry employs roughly 17 percent of the manufacturing workforce. The defence industry is another large employer in the city, with more than seventy percent of Australia’s defence companies based in the city. Among the defense companies with operations in Adelaide are Saab Systems, Raytheon, The Australian Submarine Corporation and BAE Systems Australia. The government military research institution, the Defence Science and Technology Organisation is also based in the city. There are currently almost 500,000 people employed in Adelaide, with 62 percent in full time jobs and 35 percent in part time. Median income for people in employment over 15 is AUD 447 per week, slightly lower than the national median of AUD 466 per week. However Adelaide’s housing and living costs are in general significantly lower than many other large Australian cities, with average house prices being approximately half of what they are in Sydney.
Tourism & Culture
Adelaide is a city of immigrants, and while most of the original residents were from the UK, since then the city has become home to immigrants from Germany, Greece, Poland, Italy, the Netherlands and Vietnam, as well as many other countries, making the city a truly multicultural place. Adelaide is not one of Australia’s main tourist cities, though those that do visit find plenty to do as well as beautiful weather and long beaches. The city is well known for its Adelaide Festival of Arts, which was started in the 1970s and has since become a cultural icon. Tasting Australia, Adelaide’s annual food and wine festival, usually held in October, has also gained international recognition as one of the best in the southern hemisphere. Adelaide is also home to the Art Gallery of South Australia, boasting 35,000 works, the second largest art collection in the country. Adelaide is also home to a growing restaurant scene, and its nightlife is renowned, with a multitude of bars, clubs and pubs based around the city centre.
Adelaide, due to its convenient, central location forms something of a transport hub in Australia. Adelaide Airport, located on the outskirts of the city, serves over six million passengers per year and has the ability to cater to the new Airbus A380. The airport can handle over 3,000 passengers per hour and is located only 4 miles from Adelaide city centre. Adelaide itself is served by the Adelaide Metro, which is made up of a contracted bus system as well as various metropolitan railways. The Adelaide-Glenelg tram system is also part of the metro and was significantly extended in 2010, now reaching all outlying suburbs of the city, connecting them to the centre.
Currently the office vacancy rate in Adelaide stands at approximately eight percent, having risen from seven percent in the last year or so. However vacancy in the core precinct increased by less than half a percent and rents have not dropped too much, due largely to the fact that Grade A space is still fairly lacking in the city. Australia’s economy proved fairly resilient during the economic crisis, not being affected as badly as some. However development has somewhat stalled recently as lenders are now requiring a higher level of pre-construction commitment.