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Impact Buys Out Grocon, Launches New Collingwood Tower

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Active fund investment manager Impact Investment Group has launched its latest project, a $120 million Collingwood office and retail building, “Northumberland”.

The development, originally set in motion by Grocon, was picked up by the Liberman family-backed investment group in May 2017 after Grocon sought out fund-through investors for the project.

Grocon secured two major tenants, co-working space operator The Commons and global skincare group Aesop, prior to selling the project. Aesop has signed on to lease three floors of the building.

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal gave the green light to the project in mid-2017, overturning the initial Yarra City Council decision to reduce the scale and height of the building. The sale to Impact was contingent on planning approval.

Designed by John Wardle architects, typical floorplates are just over 1,500sq m with the building offering 15,000sq m of net lettable area in the inner-city hub. A two-lift car stacker will provide 136 car parking spaces.

Related: Impact Granted Approval for Kensington Woolstores

VCAT gave planning approval to the project in mid-2017, overturning the initial Yarra City Council decision to reduce the scale and height of the building.
VCAT gave planning approval to the project in mid-2017, overturning the initial Yarra City Council decision to reduce the scale and height of the building. Image: John Wardle


As with all its development projects, the socially-minded investor will combine environmental initiatives with social innovation – the building is targeting a 6-star Green Star Design and As-Built Rating and a 5-star NABERS Energy Rating.

“As well as being one of Melbourne’s most environmentally-friendly buildings, it will be an exceptional place to work with significant flexibility for workplace configurations,’’ IIG real estate head of funds management Darren Brusnahan said.

The project is less than 100 metres from developer Tim Gurner’s controversial Wellington Street project, which was originally derailed after community-driven backlash.

Perhaps with that in mind, principal architect John Wardle said he was careful to ensure the building was “inextricably one of Collingwood”.

“As the architects creating Northumberland, we’re very aware that this building heralds remarkable change."

Wardle said the two buildings on the site would continue a tradition of producing a laneway lifestyle, with a new laneway providing a real destination with retail spaces and amenity for the community.

Meanwhile, Impact is seeking out co-investors for its flagship Brisbane office project – the world's tallest timber building and the first of its kind in Australia.

The fund manager also recently listed its One Hundred Broadway commercial building in Sydney’s Central Park precinct, with price expectations of at least $70 million.

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Article originally posted at: https://theurbandeveloper.com/articles/impact-launches-120m-collingwood-office-tower-