Construction has officially begun on the $600 million Wesley Place project at 130 Lonsdale Street in central Melbourne.
Charter Hall will proceed with the project after winning sufficient pre-commitments from tenants Cbus, Telstra Super and investment services firm Vanguard.
With the three pre-commitments now in hand, Charter Hall can account for as much as 30,000sq m, or more than 50 per cent, of the proposed tower.
The tower, designed by Cox Architecture, offers approximately 55,000 square metres of office space and 4,500 square metres of retail. Lendlease's construction arm started preparatory work on the site in early November.
[Related reading: Charter Hall’s $450 Million Brisbane Square Office Tower]
The 34 level commercial office tower will sit on the eastern portion of the Wesley Church site with frontages to Lonsdale Street, Little Lonsdale Street and Jones Lane.
The entire site is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register and the Heritage Council has already granted the necessary demolition permit for some of the buildings on site, including the Princess Mary Club.
The office tower is part of a broader proposal to restore heritage elements of the site, including the Wesley Church, the Manse and the school house.
The church has been unable to maintain its buildings and the redevelopment will fund the restoration and maintenance of the other buildings.
Centrally focused on the Wesley Church, it will maintain the celebrated church forecourt to the south and creates a sunlit public courtyard to the north that will become the community hub.
Cox Architecture said it will be immediately identifiable with qualities of respite and reflection and will provide diversity of scales of space that will encourage inclusive social interactions and also act as an events platform for the church, civic, arts and community.
The building is expected to reach completion by 2018, however historical preservation activity may drive the completion date into 2019.