By Brendan Rees
Building has begun of Amazon’s new $1.5 billion corporate headquarters in the CBD in a major boost to the city’s economy.
The first stage of 555 Collins Street, developed by Charter Hall, will see a $750 million premium-grade office tower constructed at the corner of Collins and King streets.
To mark the occasion, a ceremonial event attended by Lord Mayor Sally Capp and Victorian treasurer Tim Pallas was held last month which saw the first pouring of precinct’s foundations take place.
The project is the largest commercial development in Melbourne’s CBD to begin construction in 2021.
Cr Capp said the project, expected to generate 1500 jobs, was a “sign of confidence in our city’s economic future”.
“Our city’s economic recovery is strengthening and this project will be a catalyst for further investment in this area of the CBD,” she said.
The first 48,000 sqm office tower will occupy the corner of Collins and King streets and will be followed by a 32,000 sqm tower during stage two works.
Designed by COX Architecture and Gensler, the towers will accommodate up to 7500 new CBD workers with stage one works expected to be completed by early 2023.
Smart Building technology in the buildings will monitor air quality and feature touchless amenities to support enhanced health, hygiene, and wellness.
The ground plane will also provide a premium food and beverage hub as well as a health and wellbeing space for tenants.
CEO of Charter Hall David Harrison said it was a “landmark development”, that would add vibrancy and a state-of-the-art, future-ready workplace to Melbourne’s CBD.
“Charter Hall is proud to be moving construction forward onsite at 555 Collins St, to continue to develop our portfolio of high-quality assets for our investors and tenant customers, while creating more jobs for Victorians,” he said.
Mr Pallas also welcomed the development, saying it was a sign of the city’s resilience in coming out of the COVID-19 turndown.
“This is significant for Melbourne and incredible news for jobs and our highly skilled workforce,” he said.
“This investment will contribute billions of dollars to the Victorian tech economy in the next 10 years and cement our position as the home of innovation in the nation.”
Amazon Web Services managing director for Australia and New Zealand, Adam Beavis expressed his excitement for the project saying it would reinvigorate Melbourne’s CBD by “strengthening our local presence in the Victorian economy”.
“Melbourne has a rich community of innovators, and we are looking forward to bringing Amazon’s growing local workforce to 555 Collins Street so we can continue to invent and innovate on behalf of customers across our Amazon and AWS businesses in Australia,” he said.
Mr Beavis added that the precinct would have a six-star green rating and built under a carbon-neutral framework, “which will contribute to helping us reach our goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2040”.
Residents 3000 president Rafael Camillo said it was an exciting development.
“Anything that’s going to bring jobs and more residents to the city is always welcomed,” he said •