Last week The GPT Group received development consent from the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning to construct two office towers totalling 29,000 square metres at 51 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, extending through to 32 Flinders Street.
The GPT Wholesale Office Fund (GWOF), which bought the site in 2018, plans a significant development designed to appeal to a wide range of businesses looking to have their own floor of distinctive premium grade space.
Designed by internationally renowned architecture firm Bates Smart, the 51 Flinders Lane scheme will feature two towers, a medium rise North tower (15 levels) and a high-rise South tower (39 levels), to be built upon a six-level podium and approximately 900 square metres of retail, with the scheme to have an expected end value of approximately $500 million.
GPT’s Head of Office and Logistics Matthew Faddy said: “As businesses adapt to changing work environments, there will be a greater focus on occupying premium office space. Employers are seeking work environments that facilitate employees coming together to collaborate and foster relationships. The development of 51 Flinders Lane will deliver high-quality office towers combining distinctive interiors and the latest technology, and we expect this will appeal to medium sized businesses searching for premium boutique space on their own floor.”
GWOF Fund Manager Martin Ritchie said: “The development of two premium office towers at 51 Flinders Lane will offer a unique, high-end boutique office experience in one of Melbourne’s most sought-after locations. 51 Flinders Lane will create a unique offering that connects with and improves the ground plane and amenity of Melbourne’s premium east-end, while also adding another iconic laneway which connects two key Melbourne Streets.”
The design of 51 Flinders Lane includes retail spaces at each street interface, with a new iconic internal laneway connecting Flinders Street and Flinders Lane to be developed. The site will offer potential connectivity with 8 Exhibition Street (GWOF co-owned), basement parking for 88 cars and 274 bikes, a wellness centre, dedicated co-working spaces, and terrace gardens on levels 4, 6 (wellness level) and 39.
The development is a short walk to key transport hubs including Flinders Street Station, Parliament Station and the tram networks, and will provide wide views over Birrarung Marr, the Yarra River and the MCG to the south. Construction on 51 Flinders Lane is planned to commence in 2021 with works due for completion in 2024.
The announcement closely follows the launch of the Group’s leasing campaign at its Queen & Collins redevelopment, which is currently underway and on track for completion in the first half of 2021. The project involves a bold reimagining of the 34-storey former headquarters of ANZ, which also includes a sensitive upgrade of two heritage buildings: 90 Queen Street (Safe Deposit Building) and 380 Collins Street (former Melbourne Stock Exchange Building).
The three buildings will be integrated into one precinct, and, unlike the usual corporate address, will be blended via a series of lively semi open-air lanes, courtyards and intimate public squares, all accessible as part of a new retail and dining precinct, including a landmark new high-end restaurant.
Martin Ritchie said Queen & Collins would capitalise on emerging demand among rightsizing businesses for smaller, bespoke floorplates and thoughtfully designed, premium amenity that responds to changing workplace requirements.
“Queen & Collins will focus on providing flexibility and personalised service to help our tenants navigate what the future looks like for their business. It will be a considered workplace responsive to the demands and opportunities of the new normal,” said Mr Ritchie.