Grocon On Hunt For Investors To Back $120 Million Melbourne City Fringe Project


After winning anchor tenants for about two-thirds of its $120 million office and retail project, 'Northumberland', development company Grocon is now on the hunt for investors.

The 15,000 square metre project is in the inner-city suburb of Collingwood, and consists of a 13-level office building and a companion five level retail building which will include a ground floor café.

According to The Australian Financial Review, Grocon is seeking further permission to build the 12-level tower it proposed, past its current effective planning approval for a nine-storey tower on the corner of Wellington and Northumberland streets.

Companies like skincare brand Aesop and Co-working hub operator The Commons have been named as possible new tenants to the project, which reportedly won a large pre-commitment to house their offices.

The AFR said Grocon has now appointed Colliers International's Nick Rathgeber, Leigh Melbourne and Rob Joyes to secure fund-through investors for the project.


 The campus-style office building was been designed by John Wardle Architects and is currently, and will continue to be, a fully functioning Telephone Exchange. The architects said this is extremely technically challenging, as the operational exchange is a maze of complexly layered infrastructure.

It integrates the telephone exchange buildings and uses the surrounding area for a new laneway. As well as the main tower, the proposal includes a companion five-level retail and meeting building.

Northumberland is reportedly targeting a six-star rating under the latest Green Star Design & As Built rating system, as well as certification under the international WELL building standard.

"A new laneway connects Wellington to Northumberland streets, an extension of Derby Street - “Little Derby Street” as it were," John Wardle Architects said.

"This intervention is a part of the revitalization strategy of what would otherwise be an inactive site. A laneway  is made possible by setting the primary building back from Wellington Street in the order of 20 meters.

"The south west corner of the site is held by the lower scale Companion Building which in turn frames the lane way and figures it within the site.

"The laneway is a considered urban response, as so many smaller sites within the area have been and are continually consolidated into larger parcels and the fine grain of the area is being eroded. This development reinstates a new laneway and in a way refers back to the original scale of the area."

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