Melbourne startup co-working space York Butter Factory (YBF) is reportedly about to sign a lease to expand into Sydney’s Australian Technology Park.
Mirvac is managing a $1 billion redevelopment of the inner city precinct, which the NSW government sold off in 2015, and York Butter Factory, InnovationAus.com, is working “in partnership” with the property developer to secure as much as 15,000 square metres of space for possible co-working and incubator office space.
As a comparison, YBF’s current open plan digs in downtown Melbourne is just 577 square metres over two floors.
Business Insider has contacted York Butter Factory for comment.
In late 2015, the state government sold the ATP to a consortium led by Mirvac and Commonwealth Bank, which will move there as anchor tenant over 93,000 square metres. The group won the tender with a $263 million bid, beating out an Atlassian and Walker Corporation proposal to turn the site into a major tech startup hub.
At the time, then-planning minister Rob Stokes said Mirvac’s plans would not drive the tech industry out of the site, just a few kilometres out from downtown Sydney.
“Our aspiration for this site is to continue the transformation from dilapidated railway buildings to a growing technology hub… Mirvac and its partners have made a commitment to revitalise the existing technology precinct,” Stokes said back then.
However, Atlassian boss Scott Farquhar was sceptical at the time, saying tech companies would not want to move into a hub with a big bank as the dominant presence.
The YBF’s reported expansion plans come after it signed a partnership deal with Sydney’s Tank Stream Labs last month to give each other’s tenants access to both facilities.
“The Melbourne versus Sydney debate distracts from the real issues impacting Australian start-ups,” Tank Stream CEO Bradley Delamare told The Australian at the time.
“The competition shouldn’t be between cities, it should be between Australia and the rest of the world.”