By Edward McLeish
Continual demand for office spaces in the CBD has ensured two of three buildings at Charter Hall Group’s $1.2 billion Wesley Place development are fully tenanted – almost a year ahead of the building’s scheduled completion.
At 110,000sqm, Wesley Place will be the largest office precinct in Melbourne’s CBD, with 130 and 140 Lonsdale fully leased prior to practical completion and 150 Lonsdale Street leasing quickly.
Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas said Australia’s largest super fund, AustralianSuper, was one of several key tenants that would take up residence in the new 35-storey tower at 130 Lonsdale Street.
“This exceptional development is indicative of the solid demand for office space in Melbourne’s CBD, proving that Victoria continues to grow and attract significant investment, despite global economic headwinds,” the Treasurer said.
“This precinct shows how new development can be carefully designed to accommodate new office space while working in with historic city surrounds.”
Telstra Super, Cbus, the Uniting Church, Vanguard, and the newly formed Australian Financial Complaints Authority complete the line-up.
The landmark development is located in one of Melbourne’s most tightly held office precincts, with some of the works having led to a number of building and heritage concerns from local residents.
Data from the Property Council of Australia’s 2019 Office Market Report shows Melbourne’s CBD office vacancy is the tightest in the country, at 3.8 per cent.
The state government granted planning permission for the development in April 2016, which allowed for extensive archaeological investigation of the surrounding Wesley Church precinct (see story on page 11).
The entire site is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register and Heritage Victoria’s permission was also sought as part of the broader planning approval.
Wesley Place has been built around one of the earliest intact church complexes in Victoria, which was built in the Gothic Revival style. The church’s spire is believed to have been the first built in the state.
From the outset, Charter Hall said it had worked closely with the government to balance heritage preservation with the need for more office space in the CBD.
Construction of thef Wesley Church precinct will be completed in 2022.