Words Henry Johnstone
Photography Simon Dobson
Sydney’s commercial scene is rapidly changing. As property prices in the CBD and its fringes continue to skyrocket, creative industries are seeking new, exciting and affordable locations to match their vibe and vision. Enter Precinct 75: A vibrant business hub in St Peters offering an exciting alternative to traditional business districts, taking cues from regeneration projects such as the famous Brooklyn Navy Yard. Conveniently positioned just 7km from the CBD and 5km from Sydney Airport, Precinct 75 is home to a diverse community of over 70 creative businesses ranging from design, marketing and media to hospitality, retail and fashion.
“Our vision for the property when we acquired it five years ago was always to transform it into a unique creative district,” says Jason Varker-Miles, owner of Precinct 75. “We wanted to establish a place where creative businesses could operate. So we weren’t looking for lawyers, doctors and accountants, but the makers, the creators – people that could create a real community. And proudly that’s where we’ve gotten to today.”
Rich in history and character, the aesthetic appeal of Precinct 75 for the creatively inclined is obvious. Home to the original Taubmans paint factory from 1902 until the early 1960’s, the discerning site regeneration has preserved its rich heritage: 12 character buildings holding 80 suites that flaunt soaring ceilings, beautiful exposed brick and timber and raw finishes. George Henry Taubman’s original office and meeting room (now where Varker-Miles oversees Precinct 75) has also been respectfully restored, while still retaining its stunning American Oak walls – a loving ode to days of yore.
“The unique look and feel of Precinct 75 is definitely one of the factors that attracted us to the place,” admits Eric Phu, co-founder of ethical t-shirt company, Citizen Wolf. “The suite we took over is an amazing space. It’s very open and spacious, has great bones that we could work with and is big enough for our needs. We also love the amenities here – everything you need is already onsite. We love the Sample Coffee Cafe and are often at the bakery or brewery.”
Yes, brewery. Just one of the many renowned local brands that call Precinct 75 home, Willie The Boatman is a local craft brewery where “terrible jokes and unbeatable beers take shape.” Founder Pat McInerney said he fell in love with the place as soon as he saw it. “It’s cool and rustic and really fitted with our brand and what we were looking to grow into. We make all our beer and cider on-site…and also wine for those poor fools who don’t drink beer.”
As any business owner will attest, accessibility is key, and Precinct 75 delivers on that front too. Just a short walk from both Sydenham and St Peters train stations, the complex also enjoys city buses right on its doorstep. “It’s such a great location,” adds McInerney. “You can walk to King Street in Newtown in just 15 minutes.”
Looking ahead, Jason Varker-Miles holds a grand vision for the precinct, despite already being an established and sought-after business hub. “Our plan is to go one step further,” he reveals. “With such a large piece of property, we are in a unique position to provide a thriving urban village and community that includes apartments, restaurants, parks and additional commercial spaces. This is still sometime down the track, but we’re excited for the future of Precinct 75.”
To make your mark on this highly-desired destination precinct, speak to Matt Davoren or Tom Speakman, Directors of Mercer Property, or find out more here.