Crown and Baptist Streets

Crown and Baptist Streets village is a thriving hub for creative industries, which represent the greatest number of businesses and workers in the area.

Converted warehouses and terraces provide professional offices with a funky alternative to traditional office spaces in central Sydney.

These flexible spaces have also led to a dominance of small businesses in the area.

The traditional fashion and rag trade retains a presence with wholesale outlets, now accompanied by contemporary furniture and furnishings warehouses, while boutique retailers are springing up along Crown Street.

The village has also become a mecca for foodies with numerous restaurants and cafés springing up on Crown and Cleveland streets.

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Employing businesses by type and size

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

In 2012, businesses within Crown and Baptist Streets village employed an average of 10.85 workers across all city-based industry sectors.

As evident within the table, Crown and Baptist Streets village is dominated by business in the creative industries sector, which make up just over 20% of all businesses – the second highest concentration of this industry grouping in the City of Sydney local area. Other significant industries within this village include food and drink (15%), professional and business services (14%) and retail and personal services (14%).

Interestingly, the top 6 industry sectors in 2007 remained as the top 6 industry sectors by number of businesses in 2012. Despite 4 of the top 6 industry sectors experiencing a decline in their percentage share of businesses, all 6 experienced net growth in number of businesses between 2007 and 2012.

The table also shows that this village is dominated by smaller businesses, with very small businesses (1 to 4 employees) making up over 48% of all businesses, followed by small businesses making up 43% of all businesses.

In the 5 year period between 2007 and 2012, the number of businesses in the village grew by 12.6%, with the largest sectoral increase occurring in the professional and business services sector.

Table 2 – Number of Businesses by Size, 2012

Sector Very Small (1–4) Small (5–19) Medium (20–199) Large (200+) Total Total (%)
Community 5 10 5 1 21 1.0%
Creative Industries 173 196 46 2 417 20.0%
Finance & Financial Services 14 22 3 0 39 1.9%
Food & Drink 162 143 6 1 312 15.0%
Government 3 5 15 2 25 1.2%
Health 58 22 7 1 88 4.2%
Higher Education & Research 13 17 10 1 41 2.0%
ICT 33 63 11 0 107 5.1%
Life Science (Bio-Tech) 10 3 0 0 13 0.6%
Manufacturing 19 8 0 0 27 1.3%
Motor Vehicle 6 7 0 0 13 0.6%
Natural Resource-Based Industries 0 0 0 0 0 0.0%
Professional & Business Services 96 158 40 3 297 14.3%
Property Development & Operation 24 19 2 0 45 2.2%
Retail & Personal Services 212 70 4 0 286 13.7%
Social Capital 45 52 18 0 115 5.5%
Tourist, Cultural & Leisure 44 54 7 0 105 5.0%
Transport & Logistics 88 38 7 0 133 6.4%
Utilities 0 0 0 0 0 0.0%
Total 1,005 887 181 11 2,084 100.0%
Source: Floor Space and Employment Survey, 2012 – City of Sydney

Food and drink

In recent years, Crown and Baptist Streets village has seen a significant increase in floor space dedicated to the restaurant/eating category, as measured by the FES. The conversion of Crown Street to the village main street has created a hub of activity in the area, strengthening the presence of dining and cafés. Crown Street is now host to headline establishments, and a drawcard for international chefs and restaurateurs.

In 2012, the restaurant/eating category accounted for 46,498 sqm of internal floor space. This represents a 21.9% increase on 2007 figures – the highest percentage increase in floor area across all space uses. In addition to the increased floor space, the restaurant/eating space use division also saw an increase in the number of employees between 2007 and 2012, increasing by 485 employees to 1,887 employees by 2012. This division ranked second highest in number of employees in 2012, behind only the office space use category.

Table 3 – Restaurant/Eating Floor Space and Employees

2007 2012
Internal Floor Space (sqm) 38,155 46,498
% of Total Floor Area 1.5% 1.8%
Employees 1,402 1,887
% of Total Employment 7.4% 8.3%
Source: Floor Space and Employment Survey, 2012 – City of Sydney


In the 5 year period from 2007 to 2012, the number of restaurant establishments in the village increased from 83 to 113, which resulted in an increase of approximately 26% in the number of restaurant seats. Across the same period, the number of café establishments rose from 79 in 2007 to 91 in 2012 and consequently increased the number of café/coffee lounge seating by 64%.

Table 4 – Restaurant/Eating Capacity Measures

2007 2012 % Change 2007-2012
Restaurant Seating 4,601 5,773 26%
Café/ Coffee Lounge Seating 1,342 2,201 64%
Source: Floor Space and Employment Survey, 2012 – City of Sydney

As shown in Figure 5, there is a wide dispersion in the restaurant and café floor space within the village, with Crown Street and the northern section of Baptist Street representing the greatest densities of restaurant and café floor space. There is also a concentration near Central railway station, around Foveaux and Albion streets.

Figure 5 – Restaurant Floor Space

Figure 5 – Restaurant Floorspace 


The strong presence of retail space uses within the Crown and Baptist Streets has been further enhanced by the conversion of Crown Street from a busy one-way street to the village main street. While the traditional fashion and rag trade retains a presence, new retailers have emerged, including boutique fashion and furniture retailers.

The shop/showroom space use category captured in the FES provides a useful indicator of the amount of retail activity occurring within the village. As shown in Table 5, in the 5 year period between 2007 and 2012, the amount of retail floor space increased by over 7,000 sqm, while its percentage share of the total floor area within Crown and Baptist Streets village remained relatively consistent. Within this same time period the number of retail employees increased by 366.

Table 5 – Shop/Showroom Floor Space and Employees

2007 2012
Internal Floor Space (sqm) 108,856 115,946
% of Total Floor Area 4.3% 4.4%
Employees 1,373 1,739
% of Total Employment 7.2% 7.6%

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

As shown in Figure 5, the greater densities of shop/showroom floor space can be observed in the following areas:

  • the northern end of Crown Street, closer to Oxford Street
  • extending east from Central station between Foveaux and Devonshire Streets
  • within the south-eastern corner of the village, around Cleveland, Bourke and Baptist streets
  • at the Moore Park Supa Centre in the south-western corner of Moore Park.

Figure 5 – Shop/Showroom Floor Space

Figure 5 – Shop/Showroom Floorspace


Over the 5 year period between 2007 and 2012, Crown and Baptist Streets village saw an increase in office floor space from 386,004 sqm to 424,910 sqm – an increase of 38,906 sqm or 10.1%. This was the largest increase in floor space across all space uses within the village and demonstrates how businesses are becoming more open to locating their offices outside of city centre areas.

In addition to the increase in office floor space, there has also been an increase in the number of employees working in office spaces across the 5 year period, increasing by 2,356 employees. Regardless of the significant increase in employee numbers, the percentage share of the total employment within the village has decreased by 2.4 percentage points. Despite this decrease, the office space use category still accounts for the largest share of employment in Crown and Baptist Streets village by a significant margin.

Table 6 – Office Floor Space and Employment

2007 2012
Internal Floor Space (sqm) 386,004 424,910
% of Total Floor Area 15.1% 16.3%
Employees 14,841 17,197
% of Total Employment 78.0% 75.6%
Source: Floor Space and Employment Survey, 2012 – City of Sydney

As illustrated in Figure 6, the majority of office floor space in Crown and Baptist Streets village is located to the north of Devonshire Street in the quadrant closest to the city centre and Central railway station. The map also shows that concentrations of office floor space also stretch along Elizabeth, Baptist and Bourke streets in the southern portion of the village.

Figure 6 – Office Floor Space

Figure 6 – Office Floorspace


Recent trends have shown the steady decline in industrial floor space within Crown and Baptist Streets village, as the space is converted to alternate uses such as retail, office and food and drink. 

Across all employment-generating space uses, the industrial space use division had the greatest loss of floor space between 2007 and 2012. According to the FES, the amount of industrial floor space reduced by 9,300 sqm over the 5 year period, decreasing the overall share of total floor space by 0.4%. Furthermore, the number of employees associated with the industrial category reduced by 111 between 2007 and 2012. However, the decrease in the number of employees occurred at a slower rate than the decrease in the industrial floor space, which suggests that there has been a greater intensification in employment density for the remaining industrial floor space.

Table 7 – Industrial Floor Space and Employment

2007 2012
Internal Floor Space (sqm) 30,735 21,424
% of Total Floor Area 1.2% 0.8%
Employees 568 457
% of Total Employment 3.0% 2.0%
Source: Floor Space and Employment Survey, 2012 – City of Sydney

As Figure 7 shows, the limited amount of industrial floor space within the village is sparsely located across the village, with higher densities occurring near Central railway station, along Elizabeth Street to the south and other sporadic pockets in the north and east of the village.

Figure 7 – Industrial Floor Space

Figure 7 – 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 cafés tend to cluster together due to the advantages of being located in a food and drink precinct, which attracts a large number of visitors – Crown Street is a perfect example of this. Similarly the clustering of creative industries in this village suggests agglomeration effects at work. Creative professionals may find it desirable to be able to easily meet with others in their industry – perhaps at the aforementioned cafés.

Conversely, other types of business may prefer to locate far away from competitive business. Examples here would include supermarkets and cinemas, businesses which benefit from a ‘captive’ market. However the location of complementary businesses of other types may also be an important factor. For example, cinemas may prefer to be located near a restaurant precinct, since dining and seeing a movie are complementary activities.


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