The heritage-listed neo-Gothic church
Wesley Upper Lonsdale, in Melbourne’s CBD, is set to be redeveloped and restored.
After nearly 30 years of discussions and project proposals, Leighton Properties was appointment by the Uniting Church’s Synod of Victoria and Tasmania as developer for the project.
The Wesley Upper Lonsdale Street site is located in the north-eastern precinct of Melbourne’s CBD - an area that is known for some of the city’s best entertainment and cultural offerings.
It is also a precinct that is the most tightly held in the CBD, with half the vacancy rate (3.4%) of the CBD (6.6%) in A-Grade commercial buildings.
Leighton Properties National Head of Commercial Andrew Borger said he welcomed the opportunity.
“The Wesley project is a fantastic opportunity to revitalise and deliver much needed quality office space to the precinct, honour the site’s unique heritage, as well as create a landmark development for The Uniting Church,” he said.
Only the eastern portion of the site is being developed, the western portion will remain with the Church. The proposal from Leighton Properties includes the refurbishment of the key heritage buildings – the Wesley Church, the manse, the school house and the caretaker’s cottage. Ongoing maintenance of external areas and all buildings in the Ground Lease area will be overseen by the developer.
The proposed development will include an A-Grade commercial office tower targeting a 5 Star Green Star – Office Design v3 rating with its own rainwater collection system, a dynamic Town Square, and a number of courtyard and garden spaces that will encourage connection, meeting, dining, rest and contemplation.
The development will place particular emphasis on building relationships between people through the restoration and enhancement of the historic site.
During the next six months, Leighton Properties will work closely with relevant authorities to prepare a development application for Council.
Commercial real estate companies Colliers International and Jones Lang LaSalle have been appointed to lease the office space. Colliers International has also been listed on the retail component.