Gowings head office on the move
GOWINGS Brothers head office is moving to Coffs Harbour.
John Gowing has been the managing director for almost 35 years and says the move makes perfect sense.
"We're in the middle of that process now," Mr Gowing said.
"Obviously we have to be mindful of how we work with the people in Sydney who may or may not want to move and are in a state of flux with coronavirus."
Gowings Brothers owns a number of major shopping centres in the region including Coffs, Kempsey and Port Central and Moonee Market.
The company has a number of new developments in Coffs Harbour including the redevelopment of the old Forestry building at the Jetty and Sawtell Commons housing development.
Their new head office will be located at the end of Coffs Central on the third level; on the side occupied by BCU.
"There's about half a floor of commercial office space still vacant so we're going to move into that. We will also consolidate centre management office and move it into that space as well."
Mr Gowing lives in Pacific Palms, near Forster and is currently in the process of renovating a cottage at Arrawarra.
"For the last 10 years I've been driving from Pacific Palm to Sydney each week and now I'll drive from Pacific Palms to Coffs or Port. But these days you don't need to be in an office every day and I find I'm working harder than ever from home."
Currently the Gowings Brothers head office is at Jones Bay Wharf at Pyrmont, on Sydney Harbour, so while those water views will be hard to beat, Mr Gowing still sees the move to Coffs as a win.
"It is a big move and it's fairly easy for me as my kids have all grown up but I think there are a lot of advantages to moving to Coffs. It's safer, there's less congestion and the lifestyle is cheaper."
It's largely the financial team which consists of approximately seven workers.
A number of items from their Sydney office that date back to the early 30s have been in storage and Mr Gowing hopes to use them in their new Coffs Harbour office at Coffs Central.
"There are some old desks and doors that we're reusing and some old accounting machines that predate computers so these will go up as a feature - it will be quite a nice space.
"We also plan to re-use a lot of the timber from the old forestry building."
When coronavirus first hit Mr Gowing moved to implement a one hundred per cent rental abatement for the three months of April, May and June.
Tenants were eligible if their rent was paid up to date and in return for the freeze tenants were asked to commit to a lease extension of three months at the end of their current lease.
Mr Gowing hopes the move to Coffs will be complete in the next three months but concedes there are uncertain times ahead as more cases of coronavirus return.