The perception most people have of an industrial estate usually entails rows of generic, faceless and dirty factories and sheds turning out equally dull industrial goods for the manufacturing and construction sectors. While this may have been reasonably close to the mark a decade or two ago in Moorabbin’s industrial area, a subtle industrial revolution has been taking shape. More consumer product and service providers have been moving in, providing a boost to all businesses in the area. Similarly, Carrum Downs is witnessing an increasingly eclectic mix of uses in its expansive industrial estates.
There are several reasons for businesses locating in and around Moorabbin’s and Carrum Downs’ industrial estates, including lower rents, larger lot size, and the close distance to major populations and other markets.
Rents in industrial estates tend to be considerably cheaper compared to equivalent sites along Nepean Highway or within main shopping strips. Businesses are able to rent much larger sites in industrial estates at a relatively lower price, which frees up working capital and reduces operating risk. An example of this is Fat Bob’s Bar and Grill in Moorabbin, which pays a fraction of rent that would be required a couple of suburbs closer to the bay.
Larger land and building sizes allow business owners to offer a wider range of products and services. Sites in industrial estates can greatly benefit services businesses that require large, open spaces. As an example of this, relatively low rent per square metre makes these locations attractive for children’s play centres. Several of these have opened in Carrum Downs and Moorabbin to take advantage of high ceilings, large areas and ample car parking. These benefits also apply to Gravity Zone near Carrum Downs, which requires a large building for its laser tag and trampolining activities, as well as extensive car parking for customers.
Despite these size and cost advantages, the Moorabbin and Carrum Downs industrial estates are still close to large population bases. Moorabbin is in the middle of a major residential catchment area, while Carrum Downs is close to major freeways connecting Frankston, Mornington Peninsula and Dandenong. These factors benefit the increasing number of household storage providers and big-box retailers in these locations.
In addition to these factors, an industrial estate can provide a point of difference from businesses in other locations. Some enterprises in older industrial estates are able to make use of higher ceilings, natural lighting and traditional brickwork. Some vintage stores, second-hand retailers, gyms and cross-fit centres have used these features to create a required image or ambience.
One of the best and well-known examples of changing industrial estate trends in Moorabbin is 2 Brothers Brewery, located on Joyner Street. Established almost a decade ago, the brewery and restaurant is now a local institution. Loyal workers from the surrounding industrial estate are able to walk to the site on Thursday and Friday afternoons (the only days they’re open) for a liquid lunch or post-work get-together. Farther afield, hungry and thirsty visitors will happily make the trek across Melbourne for a great craft beer and pizza experience.
More consumers are embracing businesses operating in industrial estates. This can be seen with some existing enterprises expanding operations to satisfy changing consumer trends. Moorabbin Indoor Sports on Cochranes Road has recently added indoor trampoline facilities to its traditional tennis courts and indoor soccer fields. This follows the success of other trampoline centres in Melbourne and around Australia, and has been designed to reach new consumer groups.
Another example of the changing use of industrial estates is motorcycle parts supplier, Online Racing Spares. This business has embraced the digital age by placing most of their stock online for people to purchase. Parts and accessories can be fitted by staff onsite, or can be installed by the customer at home.
Despite all of these changes across Moorabbin and Carrum Downs, the traditional aspects of industrial estates will remain for the foreseeable future. The new and non-traditional businesses moving into these areas still only make up for a relatively small proportion of the total number of industrial establishments. However, for the owners of these sites, the wider range of uses and tenancy types provides more options to lease out their properties. In turn, this can lead to higher rents and building improvements as businesses look for an edge in the market.
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