Charter Hall plans $1.5b Collins St development

Charter Hall plans $1.5b Collins St development

3 May 2019

Charter Hall’s $5.4 billion wholesale Prime Office Fund (CPOF) is driving the development of Melbourne’s Collins Street mid-town office precinct after lodging plans for a mammoth $1.5 billion twin-tower project at 555 Collins Street, The Australian reports.

The project’s first stage will deliver a 35-level, premium-grade tower spanning 45,000 square metres. Once that is under way, a second tower of 35,000 square metres will be worked up separately.

The design includes connections between Collins and King streets and Flinders Lane, and a premium retail hub with food and beverage outlets.

The design for both towers aims for a 6-Star Green Star rating, 5 Star NABERS Energy rating, and Platinum WELL certification.

The site was assembled with two purchases in Melbourne’s financial district.

The fund bought 55 King Street in 2016 and then added the Collins Street site, buying it from Singapore’s Fragrance group for about $140m last October.

Charter Hall has tapped US-based group Gensler and local firm Cox Architecture to design the giant project.

Gensler, the world’s largest architecture practice with over 2,600 architects, designed the first Apple stores, Facebook’s headquarters in California’s Menlo Park, and offices for Airbnb and Microsoft in Redmond, Washington, and London, says the AFR.

The appointments did not necessarily mean Charter Hall was seeking to lure a tech tenant, but regional development manager Simon Stockfeld did not rule it out.

“We’re positioning for a range of tenants,” Mr Stockfeld said.

“This will work for a financial company, an advisory company or a tech company. This location, so close to Southern Cross Station, will be attractive to a range of tenants in the market.”

The group is pitching its two towers of about 80,000 square metres as offering the most advanced workplace technologies designed to meet the needs of a growing workforce of Millennial and Gen-Z employees.

It is seeking to carve out a point of difference against rivals including Cbus Property, which has begun works on its own $1 billion-plus project in Melbourne.

One building will stretch the 100-metre length of the block between Collins Street and Flinders Lane will have floorplates in its two towers ranging from 1,800 square metres to 1,300 square metres.

The Collins Street face will rise to 130 metres—higher than the Investa-owned 567 Collins Street next door—with the height falling to avoid overshadowing the Yarra River.

A builder is likely to be appointed by October, with construction scheduled for completion mid-2022.