Sydney civil engineering company relocates to Wollongong, a new trend

SOLD: Sydney company CF Group snapped up this industrial bargain in Unanderra and will relocate their business to the region, a new trend seen by real estate agents. Picture: MMJ Wollongong
SOLD: Sydney company CF Group snapped up this industrial bargain in Unanderra and will relocate their business to the region, a new trend seen by real estate agents. Picture: MMJ Wollongong

Manufacturing and industrial business in the Illawarra is somewhat being revived and taking a new shape with Sydney businesses keen to move in.

ANOTHER SALE: The Sebel Harbourside Kiama was recently bought by an international hotel company for more than $10 million. Picture: Supplied

ANOTHER SALE: The Sebel Harbourside Kiama was recently bought by an international hotel company for more than $10 million. Picture: Supplied

A large property at 32 – 34 Doyle Avenue in Unanderra has just been snapped up by a civil engineering firm who, like many others, decided to relocate from Sydney to greener and cheaper pastures.

MMJ Wollongong’s director of commercial sales Tim Jones said a number of different agents had tried to sell the vacant property over the past three years without success, until now.

“We are delighted to have been able to facilitate such a strong sale on what has been a problematic property for the vendor for some time. The fact that we’ve sold it to a relocating, Sydney-based company is also extremely satisfying,” he said.

“The property boasts 19,050m2 of … light industrial land and a substantial 4,500m2 shed and [sold for] $4,625,000.”

The problem with industrial sites, he said, is they need to find a perfect match with a buyer as each unique property won’t meet every businesses needs.

It’s the first purchase of commercial property for the owner of Civil Foundations Group, Tony Derham. His business has was founded in 1991 and only ever used rented various yards and sheds around Sydney.

“Due to the increasing demand [for] unit development we found a requirement to relocate our property and one of our colleagues ... suggested Unanderra,” Mr Derham said.

“What appealed to us is we need a lot of repairs and maintenance [and] there’s a limited supply of spare parts and specialized service and it’s scattered around Sydney, where in Unanderra everything is there.”

Mr Derham said in his industry a lot of businesses are opting out of Sydney and going as far as Raymond Terrace, Gosford and Western Sydney, but said traffic to Wollongong was far better.

The company’s expansion also means the creation of new jobs, in which the group is currently advertising for.

“People say ‘it’s too far away to get there’ but not really …[from Sutherland] we haven’t got one traffic light to get to the front door of our office. So if I go and see one of my clients at Erskine Park, I joke I have to take an overnight bag,” Mr Derham said.

Mr Jones said MMJ had fielded a lot of inquiry from “out of area companies” looking to relocate to the Illawarra in the past 12 months.

“The attraction for Sydney-based companies in particular, relates not only to cheaper asking prices and rents, but also to our proximity to world class port and university facilities,” he said.

Mr Derham added the facilities are usually bigger and more efficient than those found in Sydney and come without residential restrictions meaning more productivity.

“It’s certainly a lot more economical in purchasing property … and you don’t get the same facilities [as you would in Sydney]. The shed we’ve bought has got massive overhead cranes which is what we need, very rarely we can find sheds in Western Sydney where you have that setup,” Mr Derham said.

“We’re just fortunate to find a shed that’s perfect for us”.