Businesses

Green Square and City South

Green Square and City South village is home to a diverse range of businesses from transport and logistics to large-format retail, and more recently an emerging café and restaurant scene.

A large number of businesses are a legacy of the village’s light industrial history, with logistics remaining relatively high due to the proximity to the airport. Ample warehouse space has also provided space for bulky goods retailers.

However looking beyond these warehouses and workshops, there is a growing number of small retailers and restaurants emerging to service the growing resident population.

The population of Green Square and City South is expecting major growth. As such there is scope for a large number of businesses to enter the village area.

With this growth, we can expect sectors such as food and drink, and retail and personal services to expand.

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Employing businesses by type and size

Table 2 displays data from the City of Sydney's Floor Space and Employment Survey, 2012 (FES). This shows the number of businesses within Green Square and City South village broken up by their city-based industry sector and size (number of employees).

As shown in the table, the village has a significant portion of businesses in the transport and logistics sector making up 19.6% of all businesses. The prevalence of this sector is logical given the proximity of the village to Sydney Airport, the significant supply of warehouse space and access to Sydney’s freeway network via Southern Cross Drive. However, indicative of the village’s transition from a light industrial to residential area, the transport and logistics sector declined in both the absolute number of businesses and the share of total businesses between 2007 and 2012.

Other significant industries in this village include retail and personal services (14.5%) and food and drink (9.3%). These sectors both saw strong growth over the period 2007 to 2012, increasing by 71.3% and 35.7% respectively.

The village is dominated by small business, with very small and small businesses making up 42% and 43% of all businesses respectively. However this distribution is fairly similar to the City of Sydney local area average, which sits at 43% and 41% respectively.

In the 5 year period between 2007 and 2012, the number of businesses in Green Square City South village increased by 18.6%, with the largest sectoral increase occurring in the retail and personal services sector. 

Table 2 – Number of Employing Businesses by Size, 2012

Sector Very Small(1–4) Small(5–19) Medium (20–199) Large (200+) Total Total(%)

Community

9 6 4 0 19 0.9%

Creative Industries

95 55 25 1 176 8.4%

Finance & Financial Services

13 10 4 0 27 1.3%

Food & Drink

82 103 9 0 194 9.3%

Government

5 6 6 1 18 0.9%

Health

19 10 5 1 35 1.7%

Higher Education & Research

5 5 4 0 14 0.7%

ICT

61 79 32 2 174 8.3%

Life Science (Bio-Tech)

12 12 7 0 31 1.5%

Manufacturing

55 78 42 1 176 8.4%

Motor Vehicle

44 78 20 0 142 6.8%

Natural Resource-Based Industries

0 0 0 0 0 0.0%

Professional & Business Services

65 86 26 0 177 8.4%

Property Development & Operation

49 38 11 0 98 4.7%

Retail & Personal Services

165 111 28 0 304 14.5%

Social Capital

25 19 5 0 49 2.3%

Tourist, Cultural & Leisure

15 23 2 0 40 1.9%

Transport & Logistics

165 181 60 5 411 19.6%

Utilities

5 1 4 0 10 0.5%

Total

889 901 294 11 2,095 100.0%

Source: Floor Space and Employment Survey, 2012 – City of Sydney

Food and drink

Recent residential growth in the village has created new opportunities for complementary service industries, particularly food and beverage businesses. The industrial heritage of the village provides opportunities for cafés and restaurants to create a point of difference by locating in converted warehouse space.

According to the 2012 FES, the amount of restaurant/eating floor space increased by just over 5,300 sqm, marginally increasing the overall proportion of the village’s total floor space (see Table 3). The total number of employees within the restaurant/eating space use division increased at an even more rapid rate, with the share of total employment increasing to 3.0%.

Table 3 – Restaurant/Eating Floor Space and Employees

2007 2012
Internal Floor Space (sqm) 25,243 30,587
% of Total Floor Area 0.6% 0.7%
Employees 528 826

% of Total Employment

2.1% 3.0%

Source: Floor Space and Employment Survey, 2012 – City of Sydney

As shown in Table 4, there was a significant increase in the capacity of food and drink establishments in the village, as measured by the number of seats. Restaurant seating increased by a substantial 27.3%, but even more impressive was the growth in café seating, which almost doubled over the 5 years from 2007 to 2012. The village is becoming known for its thriving café scene, epitomised by the popular destination Grounds of Alexandria.

Table 4 – Restaurant/Eating Capacity Measures

2007 2012 % Change 2007-2012
Restaurant Seating

906

1,153 27.3%
Café/Coffee Lounge Seating 915 1,749 91.1%

Source: Floor Space and Employment Survey, 2012 – City of Sydney

Figure 5 illustrates the distribution of restaurant/eating floor space throughout the village. This reveals that the distribution is still relatively sparse, however the greatest concentration appears to be along the Bourke Street/Bourke Road spine. The popular new Danks Street precinct, in the north-east corner of the village, shows the greatest concentration of floorspace, given that the blocks here are smaller than in the south of the village.

Figure 5 - Restaurant Floorspace

Figure 5 - Restaurant Floorspace

Retail

The abundance of affordable warehouse space in Green Square and City South means that the village has long been a destination for factory outlets, bulky goods retailers and car dealers. However, the rapidly expanding population is also attracting a new breed of retailer to the area. This includes those aiming to meet the convenience shopping needs of local residents, such as supermarkets and services but also includes a number of boutique retailers aiming to capture the high end of the market.

Table 5 summarises the amount of shop/showroom floor space measured by the City of Sydney's Floor Space and Employment Survey in 2007 and 2012. The village was home to a significant amount of shop/showroom floor space in 2012, at 231,056 sqm, which is 24% of the total provision in the City of Sydney. This high provision is unsurprising given the prevalence of large format retailers and car dealers in the area.

Over the period 2007 to 2012, the amount of floor space in the shop/showroom category increased by a significant 58,428 sqm, or 34%. Over the same period the number of workers associated with this floor space category increased by 57%, pointing to a considerable intensification in the density of workers per square metre of floor space. Again, this is to be expected given that many new retailers entering the village are smaller format retailers with higher staffing ratios.

Table 5 – Shop/Showroom Floor Space and Employees

2007 2012
Internal Floor Space (sqm) 172,628 231,056
% of Total Floor Area 4.1% 5.2%
Employees 1,029 1,612
% of Total Employment 4.1% 5.8%

Source: Floor Space and Employment Survey, 2012 – City of Sydney

The distribution of shop/showroom floor space throughout the village is illustrated in Figure 6. There is a reasonable distribution of shop/showroom floor space throughout the village, with the notable exception being the south-eastern corner of the village, which has almost no shop/showroom floor space.

Figure 6 – Shop/Showroom Floor Space

Figure 6 – Shop/Showroom Floorspace

Entertainment/Leisure

The supply of entertainment and leisure floor space in Green Square and City South is relatively limited, which reflects the fact that this village has not traditionally been a densely populated area. Table 6 shows the amount of entertainment/leisure floor space measured by the Floor Space and Employment Survey in 2007 and 2012. Although the floor space increased by over 6,000 sqm over the 5 year period, the share of total floor space remained less than 1%, as did the share of employment associated with this land use.

Table 6 – Entertainment/Leisure Floor Space and Employees

2007 2012
Internal Floor Space (sqm) 34,240 40,453
% of Total Floor Area 0.8% 0.9%
Employees 32 178
% of Total Employment 0.1% 0.6%

Source: Floor Space and Employment Survey, 2012 – City of Sydney

The geographic distribution of entertainment/leisure floor space is shown Figure 7. It shows that this floor space is mainly concentrated to the west of Bourke Road, with a significant pocket east of the road and south of Doody Street.

Figure 7 – Entertainment/Leisure Floor Space

Figure 7 – Entertainment/Leisure Floorspace

Office

Office is a significant space use category within Green Square and City South, being the third-largest space use category after residential and storage. Much of this space tends to be ancillary office space associated with other land uses, such as light industrial and warehousing. However, there are also a number of business-park-style developments, providing cheaper office space for businesses including ICT companies and back of house services for major corporations.

Table 7 – Office Floor Space and Employment

2007 2012
Internal Floor Space (sqm) 715,296 706,199
% of Total Floor Area 16.8% 15.9%
Employees 16,441 17,819
% of Total Employment 65.7% 63.8%

Source: Floor Space and Employment Survey, 2012 – City of Sydney

Figure 8 shows the distribution of office floor space throughout the village. It shows that there is a large amount of floor space in the south-western corner of the village, however given the large size of these blocks, the density may be less than on smaller blocks to the north. In general the office floor space follows the Bourke Road spine north through the village. Notable areas lacking in office space include the south-eastern corner, which covers the suburb of Rosebery, and the area surrounding Joynton Park.

Figure 8 – Office Floor Space

Figure 8 – Office Floorspace

Industrial

Owing to its history as a light industrial area, industrial floor space still has a significant presence in Green Square and City South, which in 2012 was still the fifth largest space use in the village. As shown in Table 8, in 2012 there was 428,319 sqm of industrial floor space in the village, which represents the largest concentration of this space use in all 10 villages, and 58% of the total City of Sydney local area supply. It is also worth noting that there is approximately 807,400 sqm of storage floor space in the village, which reflects the strong presence of transport and logistics and warehousing operations in the area.

Despite the significant amount of floor space dedicated to industrial uses, this amount has declined significantly in recent years, as manufacturing and logistics businesses relocate to outer suburbs, and land is repurposed for residential uses. Table 8 shows that between 2007 and 2012, the amount of industrial floor space in the village fell by nearly 270,000 sqm, or 39%, and the share of total floor space fell from 16.4% to 9.7%. Over the same period however, the workforce associated with this land use increased slightly, suggesting an intensification of existing space use.

Table 8 – Industrial Floor Space and Employment

2007 2012
Internal Floor Space (sqm) 698,042 428,319
% of Total Floor Area 16.4% 9.7%
Employees 4,165 4,339
% of Total Employment 16.6% 15.5%

Source: Floor Space and Employment Survey, 2012 – City of Sydney

The distribution of industrial floor space throughout the village is illustrated in Figure 9. This map shows that the distribution of industrial floor space follows a broadly similar distribution to office floor space, with a concentration along the Bourke Road spine, particularly in the south-western corner of the village.

Figure 9 – Industrial Floor Space

Figure 9 – Industrial Floorspace

What does this mean for my business?

This section can assist both existing businesses and those considering locating in the village in identifying the presence of competing and/or complementary businesses.

For some businesses, the presence of complementary businesses can be an important factor in deciding location due to the benefits of ‘agglomeration economies’. For instance, restaurants and cafes tend to cluster together due to the advantages of being located in a food and beverage precinct which attracts a large number of visitors. This is also true of transport and logistics businesses, which as demonstrated in this village, tend to have advantages in locating close to related businesses, and also close to the airport.

Another helpful aspect of this analysis is that it identifies the changing nature of the business landscape in Green Square and City South. Broadly speaking, the village is seeing a shift from industrial businesses to service industry businesses, including food and drink and retail.

Disclaimer

This information has been compiled from various sources. The publisher and contributors accept no responsibility for any injury, loss or damage arising from the use, error or omissions therein. While all care is taken to ensure a high degree of accuracy, users are invited to notify the City of Sydney of any discrepancies. No part of this information, including maps or data, may be reproduced without written permission.

Last updated: Tuesday, 16 June 2015