The decision to sell the Australian Technology Park to Commonwealth Bank and Mirvac is a gigantic blow to Fishburners, the Sydney based Startup Space.
Fishburners has been trying to find a new building for almost 12 months, as their 176 startups clamour for more space.
Had Atlassian successfully acquired the 14 hectare piece of land, the understanding was Fishburners would get a space.
It wouldn’t have solved their immediate problem, but when the land was eventually developed it would have been an ultimate solution.
Fishburners, whose major backers include Google, News Corp, Optus, NAB, and PwC, is looking to more than triple the 1300 square metres they have to 5000 square metres.
“It has been critical for the past 12 months that we’ve had to have this. And its not happening. Nothing is available,” Fishburners General Manager Murray Hurps told Business Insider.
“We can afford the space, we just can’t find it”
Hurps says that almost every day he is approached by one of his startups, requesting more desks. He isn’t able to accommodate them, they are put on a waiting list.
“That’s not good enough, its actively holding back some of the people that feel the value that they get from the Fishburners community and want to stay part of it” says Hurps.
Beyond a home for Fishburners itself, ATP could have also ensured that alumni startups stayed nearby and continued to contribute to the community.
“Ideally in terms of location, you would want a large building that has a turnover of large buildings around it. So that as you are spinning off companies they have a chance of staying in the same area. And that could happen with ATP” explains Hurps.
“Its likely in southern CBD in Sydney. And its really unlikely for it to happen in the White Bay power station.”
White Bay Power station is the other location that has been mooted to become a technology hub.
There are some provisions within the winning bid for the startup industry. Included is a $2.1 million Tech Incubation Fund. Up to 75,000 square metres of floor space will be reserved for “technology uses”, including the Eveleigh rail yards.
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