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Amid the residential building boom warehouses go the housing equivalent of viral

09 May, 16

THEY have the X-factory.

 

A stream of homes built from old warehouses and factories have hit the market as developers slam the accelerator on south Sydney’s residential building boom.

There is little conventional about the homes — many still retain the original factory’s bare brick walls, loading zones and impossible-to-miss roof beams — but they’ve struck a chord with some homebuyers, who are specifically targeting them

“They’re very popular,” CBRE director Nathan Egan said, explaining that industrial conversions are often close to the CBD and offer buyers the opportunity to live in new, unique homes near vital amenities.

The homes have also ­become trendy and developers are capitalising by ramping up the number of properties they’re converting.

Roughly 210,000sq m of south Sydney’s old industrial properties are expected be converted to housing in the next five years, with some likely to sell for millions, CBRE Research shows.

BresicWhitney agent Chris Nunn said some developers are going a step further by styling properties to look like warehouse conversions, even if the buildings were never originally used in industry.

“But most buyers don’t want an imitation,” Mr Nunn said, adding that conversions which have retained their original character are most in demand.

Homes for sale include a former jukebox factory in Tempe that’s been transformed into a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home. The conversion preserved much of the industrial heritage of the building, but added a swimming pool and a garden.

The old packing bay has been turned into parking for four cars. The home at 8 Bridge St goes to auction with a buyer’s guide of $2.4 million, more than double Tempe’s median house price.

 

Even unconverted, industrial properties can still sell for lofty figures if builders see the potential for redevelopment. An old warehouse on Livingstone Rd in Petersham, once home to Sydney’s first furniture removal business, is on the market for a staggering $5 million.

Another warehouse on 155-159 Riley St in Darlinghurst is being sold for $2.35 million.

“Some of these properties are a great fit for housing because they’re not suitable for industry anymore,” Mr Egan said.

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