The Uniting Church choose Leighton for Melbourne CBD Wesley Church site

The Uniting Church choose Leighton for Melbourne CBD Wesley Church site
The Uniting Church choose Leighton for Melbourne CBD Wesley Church site

The Uniting Church has nominated Leighton Properties as the preferred developer for the restoration of their Wesley Upper Lonsdale Street property, noting their ideal to keep the site reflecting God’s concern for the environment.

Now in documentation and approval stage, the final plans are expected for September this year for the property, which sits in the most tightly held precinct of Melbourne’s CBD.

The plan for the site is to revitalise but retain its history and cultural significance, said Leighton Properties national head of commercial Andrew Borger.

The development is to include an A-Grade commercial office tower, a Town Square and courtyard/garden spaces.

Currently, the Wesley Church is located centrally on the site. It will be retained and restored, in addition to the Parsonage/Manse, School House and Caretaker’s Cottage.

Leighton Properties' capabilities and experience in providing innovative solutions for large-scale projects positions us well to deliver on what will become a quality, landmark development for The Uniting Church,” said Borger.

“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,” he said.

Meanwhile, Wesley Church minister Alistair Macrae, who was also a member of the Project Control Group, said that the Church’s mission was at the centre of Leighton Properties’ proposal.

“We want to ensure that the developed spaces enable relationships between people, that its uses are consistent with the values of the Uniting Church and reflect God's concern for the environment,” said Macrae.

“The transformation of this historic site as an important social, commercial and missional space places the church at its centre, opening up opportunities for the Wesley congregation to be in mission with the changing demographic of the inner-city,” he said.

Wesley Mission Victoria chief executive officer Rob Evers said Wesley was committed to the project and would return to Lonsdale St when the development is completed.

Head of property for The Uniting Church in Australia, Paul Walec, said that the transaction structure with Leighton Properties looks to balance their mission with risk and commercial outcomes.

Jennifer Duke

Jennifer Duke

Jennifer Duke was a property writer at Property Observer

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