Jeff Xu’s Golden Age Group can push ahead with developing a new commercial tower in central Melbourne after council approved the 27-storey building on Little Collins Street.
The existing 50 year-old, eight-level office building, sitting on a 651sq m site at 130 Little Collins Street, was picked up by Golden Age for $40.5 million midway through 2019.
The site was initially sold with a permit for a 27-storey hotel, which came courtesy of a joint venture of the Uniting Church Synod of Victoria and Tasmania and developer BPM.
Golden Age instead opted for a commercial outcome, applying to re-purpose the approved concept late last year.
The design for the CBD tower has been put together by architecture firm Cox, with the building’s interiors overseen by Hecker Guthrie.
The slender office building will also provide car parking across three basement levels, as well as end-of-trip facilities and garden terraces.
Melbourne last week surpassed Sydney as the country’s biggest CBD office market, however, amid a second lockdown its CBD vacancy rate has surged as most of the city’s workers working from home under stage four restriction.
Golden Age Group managing director Jeff Xu said the building would now hold a greater emphasis on “lifestyle” through sustainable design and new-age technology.
“The typical commercial building has been turned on its head as a result of Covid,” Xu said.
“Businesses have realised they can work efficiently outside of the corporate environment and they no longer want to share with hundreds of other tenants.
“Instead, we’re foreseeing a preference towards more boutique floorplans as a result of businesses scaling down their requirements for an office.”
The building will also look to target 5-Star NABERS, 5-Star Green Star Design & As-Built, in addition to WELL Certification.
Xu said it will now press forward with demolition of the existing building on site and construction, with the project due for completion by 2023.
Golden Age Group, is one of Melbourne’s busiest developers with its 58-level Bates Smart-designed Collins House at 466 Collins Street completing late last year and a number of projects under way in Sydney as well.
It is also undertaking its ambitious Sky Garden development at nearby mall The Glen, for which it acquired the air rights in a landmark deal with Vicinity in 2018.
The developer recently snapped up a large site at Glen Waverley in Melbourne’s east for around $23 million.
It also has plans for a $450 million Chinatown in Melbourne suburb Box Hill.