Melbourne-based developer DeGroup, led by property baron Colin DeLutis, will forge ahead with plans on a speculative build for its $70 million office tower in Melbourne's CBD.
Located in the legal precinct, at 263 William Street on the corner of Little Lonsdale Street, DeLutis expects construction will start in January next year on the CBD tower.
The project will stand 75 metres above the two-storey heritage Metropolitan Hotel, completed in 1854, which will be retained.
The private developer and investor, which also has interests in apartments, offices, hotels, carparks and shopping centres, is a family-run business led by the former Carlton Football Club director, Colin DeLutis.
With no pre-commitments on the tower, DeLutis said the group was still “bullish” about the sector despite industry concerns over rising vacancy and a potential hit to demand beyond the pandemic.
“With nothing new and modern having been built in the legal precinct for over 20 years, we are quite bullish about the market and very confident about the building’s leasing potential,” DeLutis said.
The group also owns 550 Lonsdale Street, 535 Lt Lonsdale Street, 551 Lt Lonsdale Street and 280 King Street in Melbourne CBD.
Property records show the William Street site last transacted for $8.6 million in 2016.
The 20-storey building will include 3799sq m of office space over 17 levels and comprise a multi-level restaurant and bar overlooking William Street.
“Businesses, and their clients, want Covid safe, hygienic spaces, where they can control their environment, and an important part of that is about not having to share spaces with other businesses,” DeLutis said.
“This is the new normal and will set new space apart from the competition in what will ultimately become a very competitive market as the economy emerges from the downturn and drives white-collar employment growth,”
DeLutis said state government's spending announced in the budget gave a new level of confidence for the property development sector.
Crema Constructions are appointed as builders of the WMK Architecture designed commercial tower, which the group says is slated for completion in 2022.
DeGroup, was established in 1973, by DeLutis. His parents Luigi and Anna were Italian immigrants who ran milk bars and delicatessens from the late 1950s.
The couple’s first serious move into the property sector was with the purchase of a shop in Melbourne’s Collingwood in the 1970s.