Charter Hall secures another tenant at its Wesley Place precinct
Charter Hall has announced that it has secured the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) as a tenant within its $700 million Wesley Place development, currently under construction at the eastern end of Melbourne's CBD. AFCA joins vanguard, Telstra Super, Cbus Super and the Uniting Church in committing to 130 Lonsdale after agreeing to occupy approximately 7,600 sqm across Skyrise Levels 24-27.
Upon completion in 2020, 130 Lonsdale will comprise 55,000 sqm of Premium-Grade, tech-enabled office space across a 35-storey tower. The future-ready workspace is registered to pursue WELL certification and target 6-Star Green Star design, As-Built v1.1 and 5-Star NABERS ratings - aligning with the Charter Hall's vision for a precinct’ with a sustainable legacy for the future.
AFCA's 12-year lease will commence upon practical completion in July 2020, bringing the new office tower’s committed Net Lettable Area (NLA) to approximately 78%. Charter Hall has engaged Cox Architecture to lead the design of the three commercial office buildings which together form the Wesley Place precinct – 130 Lonsdale, 140 Lonsdale and 150 Lonsdale. Lendlease is currently progressing construction on 130 Lonsdale and the wider site.
According to Charter Hall, 130 Lonsdale will house one of the largest end-of-trip facilities in Melbourne along with a wellness centre, business hub and concierge services, integrated with Wesley Place’s retail precinct. Charter Hall believes the building's sculptural tapering-form will provide a unique addition to Melbourne’s skyline, whilst The Manse building, located beneath 130 Lonsdale, will deliver a distinct heritage quality to the Premium Grade workspace.
Charter Hall says a key part of the precinct’s development will be the rejuvenation of heritage architecture, including the careful restoration of one of Melbourne’s most important collections of Neo-Gothic architecture - the Wesley Church, Caretaker’s Cottage, Manse, School House and Nicholas Hall. The centrepiece of the precinct will be the Wesley Church, one of Melbourne’s finest and earliest examples of Gothic Revival architecture, which will include intricate stained-glass window and stonework restoration, and a new slate roof.
The precinct has been designed with active an active public realm comprising a series of laneways, green spaces, and food and beverage offerings, all of which will support and enhance the existing heritage buildings. Of particular note, according to Charter Hall, will be the grounds surrounding the heritage buildings which will feature "one of only five beautifully curated green spaces in Melbourne’s CBD for the public to meet, relax and socialise, akin to Melbourne Library or Parliament Gardens."
The AFCA's commitment to 130 Lonsdale leaves only a number of Skyrise floors available for lease, complete with cascading terraces designed for outdoor team meetings, functions and social occasions. Additionally, the two-level foyer space provides a place to meet clients or host informal breakout meetings.
A summary of the two other developments which complete the balance of the Wesley Place precinct - 140 Lonsdale and 150 Lonsdale - are further discussed below;
This A-Grade, technology-enabled building will provide 22,000 sqm of office space across 20 levels above the existing car park structure onsite. The 5-Star Green Star rated office building will include an outdoor terrace, direct access to Wesley Place's public realm and high-quality end-of-trip and concierge facilities. Workers will also have access to the wide-ranging amenities housed across the precinct. Cox Architecture's design links 140 Lonsdale to the Wesley Precinct whilst providing a complimentary backdrop to the heritage architecture.
Charter Hall says it is currently discussing leasing opportunities within the building with a number of potential pre-commitment tenants and expects to commence construction of the new tower in the first half of 2019.
Already calling itself home to a number of Melbourne businesses, Charter Hall is in the early stage of planning to transform 150 Lonsdale St to a modern A-grade standard. Citing the work undertaken at its 570 Bourke Street office asset, Charter Hall says it plans to reposition 150 Lonsdale St with a new lobby, arrival experience, revitalised façade and end-of-trip facilities
Located on Lonsdale St, the building offers 28 levels of customisable, flexible floor plates and currently carries a 4.5 Star Green Star rating and is targeting a 5 Star NABERS energy rating
The Wesley Precinct anchors Charter Hall's strong development pipeline which encompasses projects across Australia. This is highlighted in the interactive map below:
Also on the drawing board for Charter Hall is a significant commercial development spanning 55 King Street and 555 Collins Street after the developer acquired the site at the end of October.
According to Charter Hall, it plans to "deliver a modern office tower that will enrich the precinct and community... the Charter Hall team is progressing key design and development appointments, with further news to be announced in 2019."
What they say...
AFCA is a new organisation providing consumers and small business owners with fair, free and independent solutions to their financial disputes. Our new premises at Wesley Place will enable our Melbourne staff to deliver a high quality and flexible service. We are very excited about this move and value our relationship with Charter Hall. We believe the Wesley Place development will be a great one for our customers, members and our people.
- David Locke, CEO and Chief Ombudsman of AFCA
Welcoming AFCA to the Wesley Place development is a great milestone and demonstrates the strong leasing momentum we have been able to create with approximately 78% of the asset secured. Upon completion, Wesley Place will further enhance CPOF’s portfolio quality and total return metrics and deliver our Fund Investors a coveted new Premium Grade office building in the tightly held Melbourne CBD core office precinct.
This new lease demonstrates our approach to securing significant tenant pre-commitments to de-risk the approximately $1.3 billion of committed projects that we have underway nationally within our office funds management platform. The depth of our internal development capabilities, with experienced teams based in each major capital city means that we are able to collaborate with our tenant customers to deliver great workspace experiences as well as create institutional quality investment opportunities in the office sector.
- Matthew Brown, CPOF Fund Manager
Our working and social lives are increasingly intertwined. That’s why we’re creating forward thinking workspaces, that are smart, agile and offer a diverse destination where both businesses and the wider public can use and enjoy the space. 130 Lonsdale Street continues to offer opportunities to new customers to join major corporates AFCA, vanguard, Telstra Super and CBUS in this location, with the ability to secure the best skyrise space available, four floors of which boast outdoor terrace areas.
The common link across all buildings is the future-proofed technology throughout the precinct for workforces now and into the future. We are delivering laptop-enabled green spaces, customised precinct apps and modern property technologies within the buildings that will keep tenants connected and ahead of the curve.
Wesley Place is one of Melbourne’s earliest settlements dating back to the 1800s. It is therefore immensely important for us to ensure any of the plans we have for the commercial office spaces seamlessly blend with the heritage buildings on site.
We’re incredibly proud to be working with Lovell Chen and Heritage Victoria on this major piece of heritage development for the City of Melbourne, so that the local congregation, community groups and future generations can continue to use the space as a community meeting point.
Wesley Place is set to be the next, quintessential Melbourne destination. Food, beverage, and convenience offerings will ignite the surrounding Melbourne shopping district, catering to the needs of the busy yet savvy workforce within and general public.
As developers and long-term managers of this significant project, we have a longstanding commitment to seeing the precinct come to life. Our partnership with the site’s owners, the Uniting Church, is key to realising the best outcomes for all involved.
- Charter Hall’s Regional Development Director, Simon Stockfeld