has been nominated by The Uniting Church as the preferred developer for the restoration and development of Melbourne’s Wesley Upper Lonsdale Street Site.
The proposed development will include an A-grade commercial office built around The Wesley Church, located centrally on the site, which will be retained and restored along with its supporting historical buildings, including the Parsonage/Manse, School House and Caretaker’s Cottage.
Leighton Properties National Head of Commercial Andrew Borger
said the project would deliver on the Church’s vision for the site, revitalising the precinct whilst retaining its history and cultural significance.
"The project would position Leighton Properties to deliver a quality, landmark development for The Uniting Church," Mr Borger said.
Wesley Upper Lonsdale is located in the centre of Melbourne’s entertainment and cultural precinct.
It is also the most tightly held precinct in Melbourne’s CBD with a vacancy rate of 3.3%, compared to the CBD’s average of 10.5%.
“This development offers the opportunity to positively address the underlying demand for space in Melbourne’s CBD. We are looking forward to working in partnership with all key stakeholders to create a green, active, connected and welcoming urban environment that retains the best aspects of a calm sanctuary in the urban realm,” Mr Borger said.
Minister of the Wesley Church and member of the Project Control Group, Rev Alistair Macrae
said the key to Leighton Properties’ proposal was its consideration of the Church’s mission objectives.
“We want to ensure that the developed spaces enable relationships between people, that its uses are consistent with the values of the Uniting Church,” Rev Macrae said.
He said the transformation of the site would open up opportunities for the Wesley congregation to be in mission with the changing demographic of the inner city.
The Uniting Church in Australia Head of Property Paul Walec
said that the transaction structure with Leighton Properties carefully and uniquely balanced mission, risk and commercial outcomes.
The tower is targeting a 5 Star Green, Office Design v3 rating and will include its own rainwater collection system.
The development will also include a town square, as well as a number of courtyard and garden spaces.
The project is currently undergoing the process for approval with final execution expected in September 2014.