Macleay Street and Woolloomooloo

Macleay Street and Woolloomooloo

Village characteristics

  • The Macleay Street and Woolloomooloo village covers the area from Garden Island in the north to William Street in the south and from Rushcutters Bay in the east to The Domain in the west. It includes the suburbs of Woolloomooloo, Potts Point, Elizabeth Bay and Rushcutters Bay.
  • Residential uses dominate the east of the village around Potts Point and Elizabeth Bay.
  • Business uses are predominantly in the west, along William Street, and in the north where defence (Navy)  business uses dominate the wharves and ports of Woolloomooloo and Elizabeth Bay. Darlinghurst Road, the main street in the Macleay Street and Woolloomooloo village, also has a strong business presence. 

Total figures

In 2017, in the village area there were:

  • 1,184 buildings
  • 896 business establishments employing workers
  • 10,794 workers
  • 2,272,117m² of internal floor area surveyed
  • 13,168 residential dwellings.


Between 2012 and 2017 there were 79 more businesses, representing an increase of 9.7%. The top 6 sectors by number of businesses:

City-based industry sector Businesses
Food and drink
Retail and personal services
Tourist, cultural and leisure
Professional and business services 114
Creative industries

In 2017 the sector with the largest growth was professional and business services, which increased by 37 businesses (48.1% increase) in the past 5 years. Small businesses (1-19 workers) accounted for 88.3% of all businesses employing 37.2% of workers in the village.


There were 10,794 workers up 13.5% from 2012. The top 6 sectors by number of workers:

City-based industry sector Workers
Professional and business service
Food and drink
Tourist, cultural and leisure 1,127
Creative industries

The sector with the largest growth in worker numbers was professional and business services, which grew by 700 workers (82.2% increase) followed by government, which grew by 581 workers (32.4% increase) and social capital, which grew by 190 workers (64.8% increase) since the 2012 survey. The sector with the largest decrease in worker numbers was tourist, cultural and leisure, which decreased by 415 workers (26.9% decrease).

Floor area

In 2017 the business floor area increased by 3.3% to 656,030m² and accounted for 28.9% of total floor space in the village. The top 6 sectors by floor area:

City-based industry sector Floor area (m²)
Tourist, cultural and leisure
Professional and business services
Food and drink
Transport and logistics

Significant growth sectors in the village by business floor area were professional and business services, which grew by 19,918m² (99.1% increase) followed by government, which grew by 9,046m² (4.3% increase). Negative growth sectors included tourist, cultural and leisure, which declined by 24,516m² (11.9% decrease) and transport and logistics, which declined by 2,012m² (6.6% decrease) in the past 5 years.

Work space ratio

Work space ratios are calculated by dividing the total internal area (m²) by the total number of employees. The average work space ratio for all industry sectors decreased from 66.8m² per worker in 2012 to 60.8m² per worker in 2017. The most intensive use of work space occurred in the ICT sector with 17.8m² for every worker, an increase from 14.7m² per worker in 2012. It is noted that while there was an increase to the area per worker between 2012 and 2017, the ICT sector still had the smallest area per worker in 2017 when compared to all other sectors.

Visitor accommodation

In 2017 there were 1,673 hotel rooms (25.9% decrease), 401 serviced apartment units (32.8% increase) and 2,133 backpacker beds (0.9% increase). 


  • Housing, pipeline development and forecasts can be found on the City Monitors page.
  • For information on the classifications for city-based industry sectors and space use divisions, please see the floor space and employment survey page.

Last updated: Tuesday, 2 April 2019