Cedar Woods' Lloyd Collins explains the success of Wyndham's Williams Landing

Cedar Woods' Lloyd Collins explains the success of Wyndham's Williams Landing
Cedar Woods' Lloyd Collins explains the success of Wyndham's Williams Landing

Cedar Woods' successful Williams Landing developments have proven popular among buyers, with the number of jobs within the area increasing by 36,747 over the decade between 2006 to 2016. Cedar Woods' State Manager Lloyd Collins shared some insight with Urban.com.au as to why the precinct has received such a great response from buyers. 

Cedar Woods' commercial project portfolio at a glance

Urban.com.au: With the recent success of Williams Landing, clearly there is a high demand for office space in Melbourne’s western suburbs. Is this a trend you expect to see from other outer-city suburbs, or are there particular characteristics that make Williams Landing unique?

Lloyd Collins: In recent years, we have seen Williams Landing step up as a major commercial hub in the west. As prices continue to rise in Melbourne’s CBD, we are definitely seeing a trend of businesses choosing to decentralise. We have a strong offer of economic rents, excellent rail and road links and retail amenities. Only 20km from the CBD and direct access to the princes and West Gate Freeways, state-of-the-art train station, and major bus interchange makes Williams Landing Town Centre accessible to Melbourne CBD and Geelong. It’s attractiveness to the commercial sector is backed by our strong sales record – which includes welcoming Target to its new $58.2 million headquarters at the end of 2018, the rapid sell-out success of our first strata building 111 Overton Road, and the sale of the new Minister for Finance office building for $25.9 million. We’re also currently selling our fourth standalone commercial building, 101 Overton Road, which is already over 55 per cent sold.

U: What were the design and location considerations you explored in these developments, and what made them so attractive to buyers?

LC: As a master-planned community, all aspects of the development have been well considered – with design and location lying at the heart of it – to offer something attractive to both investors and occupiers. One of the main location considerations, for instance, was designing the masterplan to guarantee a short walking distance from the office to the train station, cafés, restaurants, shopping centre and open space. In order for Williams Landing to become a leading commercial precinct, we knew that high-quality, contemporary, light-filled office space at an attractive price point would have a strong appeal to businesses, investors and occupiers alike – particularly with the rising rental prices in Melbourne’s CBD. Our commercial buildings have been architecturally-designed by Gray Puksand and Hames Sharley to ensure the design is consistent, well thought out and well delivered.

U: Were the commercial office spaces designed with specific businesses in mind?

LC: We currently have 29,000 m2 of office space either completed or under construction – all of which have their own identity. For instance, our strata offices – both 101 Overton Road and 111 Overton Road – have been designed for small to medium-sized businesses. By offering a range of unit sizes, these commercial opportunities have presented a rare opportunity for many business owners to enter the commercial property market. Additional facilities, such as the in-building conference centre, allows further flexibility to conduct board meetings or presentations in state-of-the-art facilities. On the other hand, we have also developed larger, single occupancy commercial buildings for Target and the Minister for Finance – both of which have been designed to cater to their specific business requirements. For instance, Target wanted large floorplates for open workspaces, parking (for each of its 850 employees), whereas the Minister for Finance wanted certainty on planning and we were able to offer a 15-year lease and 24-hour offices.

U: With the increase of commercial buildings in the area, is there an equally high demand for residential dwellings?

LC: Absolutely. The Williams Landing masterplan shows a continuation of residential development opportunities within the town centre with apartment developments selling out before construction commencement. Williams Landing is unique as a residential growth suburb in Wyndham, with its population increasing to 7,100 residents in 2016. In response to this scale of growth, we recently launched our latest apartment building in Williams Landing, Lincoln Apartments, following strong demand for medium-density living - a trend we expect to see continue. Our apartments have achieved steady price growth, with the average apartment value in Williams Landing increasing by 16 per cent for two-bedroom residences and 13 per cent for one-bedroom residences. We have also recently launched the third release of our Addison Walk boutique land lots, which incorporates a mix of land and house and land package options.

U: What has been the highlight for you working on this project?

LC: A highlight for me has been the sheer scale of what we’ve achieved and delivered in a relatively short period of time. We spent a lot of time looking at the masterplan to create points of interest and now we are at a stage where we can see this come to life.

U: What do you expect Williams Landing to look like in 10 years’ time?

LC: In line with our masterplan, we believe that Williams Landing will stay true to its high-density vision and bring in more corporate and residential occupiers. We anticipate that Williams Landing will expand, with more people choosing to stay local. Our childcare centres, medical centres, gyms, alfresco licenced restaurants and cafés are well regarded and their success has directly encouraged new tenants and purchasers to move and invest there. The mix of users, employment and residential, should enable a vibrant community to further support the growth of the western region. We are committed to the Plan Melbourne idea of walkable 20-minute cities and believe that the creation of high-density mixed-use communities clustered around transport nodes is the way to achieve this. As the project develops, this will be a key aspect of life in Williams Landing.

Olivia Round

Olivia Round

Olivia Round is the Features Editor of urban.com.au. Olivia specialises in news reporting, in-depth editorial content and video + podcast interviews with industry experts.

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