COVID-19 hasn't been bad for all businesses.
Some have argued that the pandemic has helped reshape and reinvent Wollongong's business appeal.
This view is highlighted by Gary O'Meara, the new Wollongong branch manager for global insurance brokerage and risk management group Gallagher.
Gallagher inspected a number of properties before viewing a second floor 268 sqm A-grade commercial office space at 31 Crown Street, Wollongong by St Trinity Property Group.
It was "love at first sight".
"We fell in love with the CROWN building the minute we saw it - it ticks all the boxes for us," Mr O'Meara said. "It's an inviting commercial space. We could see the potential for a fit-out that would be very modern, and inspiring, to reflect our brand."
St Trinity Property Group managing director Nicholas El-Khoury reckoned commercial property in Wollongong was seeing a resurgence due to the pandemic.
He said Gallagher was one of three commercial tenancies leased in recent months, with the company seeing extraordinary renewed interest in the Illawarra in both the commercial and residential markets.
Ground floor space at St Trinity's CROWN Development had also been leased to national engineering firm Indesco, and separate space to skin treatment company The Cosmetic Lounge.
"For businesses, Wollongong and the Illawarra represent increasingly appealing alternatives for those looking to streamline costs and retain workers. We estimate commercial, office and retail set-up costs at around 30 per cent less than metropolitan areas."
Mr O'Meara said 31 Crown Street was one block from the beach, one block from WIN Stadium, with onsite parking, a café, sushi bar and other facilities in close proximity.
With staff due to return to the office in the New Year, the company has now signed a five year lease with a five year option.
"COVID has shown us that people can work anywhere and continue to support our clients whenever they need us. This new office space once again reimagines how we work and collaborate together as a team."