Moving Blues

We have been in our factory in Revesby for twelve years now. That is roughly how long we were in our previous factory in Padstow. Before that, the company had sat in a South Hurstville shopfront for around thirty years.
 
We moved from Padstow for a few reasons. I was renting and wanted to buy, and then we had a panel beater move into our complex, parking all his shitboxes in everyone’s spaces. But the main reason was that we spent half an hour ever morning and afternoon rearranging the factory just so we could work.
 
My Revesby place is almost three times the size of Padstow and it is ok most of the time. But when we get busy we are back to shifting pallets out into our parking bays just so we can get access to the machinery. And, despite the complex by-law prohibiting car businesses, a car importer has moved in and started leaving their imported US hotrods in everyone else’s spots. So time to move.
We have been looking for a few years on and off but printers are hard to please. We need a decent amount of factory space, good office space, enclosed production areas for our digital gear, decent parking, and most importantly, high power. 
 
Throw in the fact that I have one traffic light between home and work with no desire to add any more and you can see why I have been driving the local real estate agents nuts. It has been impossible to find one that ticks all the boxes. 
 
I passed on a couple that were close but seemed expensive at the time. There was one in Condell Park that I let go last year for $1.08m. There was one in my complex that was ninety per cent there that sold for around the same eighteen months prior.
 
Prices for industrial properties in Sydney had been stagnant from what I could tell. When they started rising last year I complained about it to the agents – I told the agent that Condell Park factory was outrageously overpriced at $1.08m.
 
But that is all over now. Colliers have included a glossy multipage booklet in this weekend’s Herald, and it is because all of a sudden the investor money has swung into industrial. 
That factory that sold for $1.08m last year? It is going back on the market for $1.8m. The one in my complex that sold for $1.08m two and a half years ago is looking at listing for close to $3m.
The worst part is I found a factory perfect for us, back in our old stomping ground of Padstow. The agents said interest in the high $1ms but they were hoping for $2m. I confirmed finance and turned up to the auction, along with around one hundred others, at least thirty of whom had bidding paddles.
 
Bidding kicked off at $1.5m but quickly went past $2m. In the end it came down to a battle between two overseas investors, and the winner walked away with the factory for $2.75m. It all went so quickly past my budget I never got the chance to pick up my paddle.
 
So it is back to moving stuff around every morning and trying to find somewhere to store the seven pallets I have promised to store for a client until January. I am going to give up on finding a new place for now – these prices are insane, but unlike the residential property market, commercial property values can be wiped out in a recession, so I will wait for then.

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