GPT Banks on Wave of Office ‘Rightsizers’


Despite surging vacancy across Melbourne’s office market, ASX-listed GPT Group is banking on a wave of “rightsizing” businesses continuing to seek out CBD office space in the post-Covid era.

GPT’s unlisted office fund, which is currently undertaking a $240 million redevelopment of the ANZ Bank’s former headquarters at 100 Queen Street, anticipates its office product will continue to attract corporates seeking greater flexibility.

GPT head of office Matthew Faddy said its latest development, the Queen and Collins Tower, would now look to capitalise on emerging demand among smaller businesses looking for bespoke floorplates while not compromising on premium amenity.

“We’ve developed flexible and innovative layouts across boutique floorplates that deliver high efficiencies and great workplace ratios, with the ability to upscale and downsize with ease,” Faddy said.

“This will provide tenants and customers more opportunities to diversify their experience and the way they use their tenant floors —a particularly relevant feature in the post-Covid workplace.”

The tower was designed by architects Peddle Thorp Associates in a neo-Gothic style and completed in 1993.
▲ Queen & Collins is owned by the GPT Wholesale Office Fund, which currently has 17 office assets valued at $8.6 billion under management.

Almost three decades old, the property was picked up by GPT in 2016 for $275 million, and combines a 34-storey commercial tower on Queen Street as well as two historic Gothic-style buildings which continue from 90 Queen Street around into 380 Collins Street.

The revamp, being overseen by Kerstin Thompson Architects and BVN Architecture, will see the three buildings integrated into one precinct.

The development will deliver 35,000 square metres of A-Grade office space with floorplates spanning 1,300sq m on podium levels and 900sq m of mid-rise and high-rise levels.

To further assist prospective tenants plan their future workspaces, BVN has developed an interactive platform to assist with custom floorplate design and layout conversations.

The project’s premium amenities will include extensive end-of-trip facilities for showering and changing and private self-contained bathroom suites on each commercial floor.

Queen and Collins will also feature 1,100sq m of retail space on its lower levels.

The development will also feature a collection of bookable facilities for meetings and special events, comprising more than 1,000sq m, to help businesses “grappling with their needs” during the pandemic.

The commercial project will also strive to serve as an example of future-proofed post-pandemic design, with self-contained bathroom suites and sanitary facilities accommodating higher levels of hygiene and required social distancing.

Once complete, in early 2021, the building will be carbon neutral, targeting a 4.5-Star NABERS Energy Rating and achieved 5-Star Green Star design rating.

GPT tops out $320m Parramatta Tower

GPT Smith Street
▲ GPT's 32 Smith Street tower, designed by architecture firm Fender Katsalidis.

In western Sydney, GPT has topped its Fender Katsalidis-designed office tower, the developer’s second premium office building in the Parramatta CBD.

The 26,500sq m project, located at 32 Smith Street, broke ground in March last year with construction—overseen by Richard Crookes Constructions—forging ahead despite the pandemic.

Fender Katsalidis director Mark Curzon said the tower was on track to become one of the most sustainable commercial office towers in the Parramatta CBD.

“This is an important gateway building for the emerging city and new civic space,” Curzon said.

“It is a positive step in the development of Parramatta via design excellence and the creation of local job opportunities through high-quality office space.”

The building is now more than 60 per cent leased, with QBE Insurance set to become the anchor tenant upon completion later this year.

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