Is 2018 the year of commercial for the Melbourne market?

Is 2018 the year of commercial for the Melbourne market?
Is 2018 the year of commercial for the Melbourne market?

Following on from a recent Q&A with Beller's Commercial Director Jeremy Gruzewski, which highlighted the shifting market conditions towards commercial developments and posed the question "will 2018 be the year for commercial to drive forward?", we take a look at some of central Melbourne's commercial projects.

A glance at the current crop of projects under construction or in the pipeline within the CBD and Docklands would suggest that there might be some truth in this. A rundown of these projects and their current progress is listed below.

Wesley Place | Charter Hall | COX Architecture | Lendlease

Is 2018 the year of commercial for the Melbourne market?
Wesley Place siteworks are underway with Lendlease at the helm of the two stage project. Images: Cox Architecture | redden

Charter Hall's $600 million Wesley Place project at 130 Lonsdale Street is progressing with contractor Lendlease at the helm. This follows the pre-commitments of Super funds Cbus and Telstra Super and investment services firm Vanguard which together account for 30,000 sqm.

The 33-storey tower will be joined by a second 23-storey tower which will sit atop the existing car park structure, which will be partially demolished. 140 Lonsdale Street would add a further 16,020 sqm NLA of office space to the precinct in addition to 300 sqm of retail tenancies.

271 Spring Street | ISPT | John Wardle Architects | Probuild

Is 2018 the year of commercial for the Melbourne market?
271 Spring Street's steel structural framing being erected. Images : Probuild

ISPT's  $110 million office tower at 271 Spring Street is flying up with the erection of the steel structural framing on level 3 now completed. A total of 5 beams weighing in at approximately 18 tonnes each were installed last month allowing for the "raked" structure to commence. 

The 16-storey tower of 15,600 sqm will become the new headquarters for Australian Unity when it is completed in mid-2019. The new office building incorporates a brick podium that is partly original and partly reimagined around historic elements including the Elms Hotel and the Mission Building.

271 Spring Street is one of only a few lightweight steel under construction in Melbourne due to its proximity to the underground Rail Loop.

One Melbourne Quarter | Lendlease | DCM

Is 2018 the year of commercial for the Melbourne market?
One Melbourne Quarter has become the first of Lendlease's buildings to top out. Images : Lendlease | redden

The first of three commercial office towers at Lendlease's Melbourne Quarter development recently topped out with One Melbourne Quarter on track for a September completion. The DCM-designed building will accommodate about 2,500 employees from AMP, Arup and Lendlease.

One Melbourne Quarter’s topping out is a significant milestone for one of the largest mixed-use urban regeneration developments in Melbourne and for the city’s growing commercial centre at the west end of Collins Street. The commitment from future tenants AMP, Arup and Lendlease plays an important role in shaping the precinct’s future corporate community and identity.

Creating places that redefine the way people choose to work, Melbourne Quarter will offer a variety of amenity, including Melbourne’s first elevated Sky Park and a new public square to support a better work life balance and health and wellbeing for workers.

- Mark Menhinnitt, Lendlease Managing Director Urban Regeneration and Infrastructure

Two Melbourne Quarter | Lendlease | Woods Bagot

Is 2018 the year of commercial for the Melbourne market?
Site works have commenced on Two Melbourne Quarter following approval last year. Images : Oriolus, Flickr | Lendlease

As mentioned in's Melbourne Quarter update piece last month, site works have commenced for Two Melbourne Quarter following approval of the 25-storey office tower late last year. Located at 697 Collins Street, the Woods Bagot-designed tower will accommodate about 4,500 new workers within 49,000 sqm of office space, and supported by 800 sqm of retail space on the ground floor.

Olderfleet | Mirvac | Grimshaw

Is 2018 the year of commercial for the Melbourne market?
Mirvac's Olderfleet is well above ground and rising rapidly. Images : redden | Grimshaw

Construction on the 40-storey tower known as Olderfleet at 477 Collins Street has been under construction for 10 months with the tower beginning to rise behind the heritage-listed Olderfeet Buildings. A 30m high atrium will connect the Olderfleet Buildings to the new office tower while also providing separation between them.

This space will include a café and a flexible business centre with meeting rooms on the lower ground floor.

Upon completion in June 2020, Olderfleet will become the new home of anchor tenant Deloitte,  who are relocating from 550 Bourke Street into 22,000 sqm of Premium Grade office space.

Collins Arch | Cbus Property | Woods Bagot + SHoP | Multiplex

Is 2018 the year of commercial for the Melbourne market?
Collins Arch is a hive of activity as it rises out of the ground. Image : RCP Aus | Mr P Studios

Multiplex is currently in the throes of construction on Cbus Property's  $1.2bn Collins Arch project in the heart of Collins Street.

The 41-storey development designed by Woods Bagot & New York firm SHoP features dual towers linked via a skybridge that will eventually rise to a height of 143m. Upon completion, it will feature 294 hotel rooms, 43,000sqm of office space, 202 apartments and a 1,500 sqm park which will provide the Melbourne CBD with an injection of passive open space.

80 Collins Street | QIC GRE | Woods Bagot + UN Studio | Multiplex

Is 2018 the year of commercial for the Melbourne market?
80 Collins Street construction progress. Images : RCP Aus | Scharp

The $800 million development is making heady progress with the core already well above street level, and the first of the structural steel framing erected onsite. The 39-storey result of a collaboration between global locals Woods Bagot, London’s Seventh Wave, UNStudio and Paris-based Jouin Manku.

The design of the retail streetscape draws on the existing built fabric retained on site with an emphasis on proportions and human scale against the backdrop of a 190m tower.

In our pursuit to create a globally relevant footprint, we have partnered with four of the world’s leading design firms to bring our vision to life. Woods Bagot, Seventh Wave, UN Studio and Jouin Manku, have each been engaged to create an enduring, mixed-use development, which harmonises the precinct with its environment and the people who will inhabit it.


Included as part of the plans are a Singapore-based hotelier, SilverNeedle's 300-room NEXT hotel, its second Melbourne hotel following the recent completion of its Sage Hotel in Ringwood as part of the Eastland Shopping Centre expansion.

Conceived as a 'Vertical Village' 80 Collins Street has an anticipated completion date of 2020.

839 Collins Street | Lendlease | DCM

Is 2018 the year of commercial for the Melbourne market?
839 Collins Street is flying up. Images : UM forumer redden | Lendlease

Lendlease's new $430m office development for ANZ at 839 Collins Street is quickly rising to its eventual height of 21-storeys. Located opposite ANZ's existing world headquarters, the 38,000 sqm  A-grade tower boasts both river and Collins Street frontages.

The first panels of cladding have been installed on the lower levels. 

405 Bourke Street | Brookfield + ISPT | Woods Bagot | Multiplex

Is 2018 the year of commercial for the Melbourne market?
Site clearing underway at Multiplex's 405 Bourke Street project. Images : Multiplex | UM forumer redden

Site preparation work on Brookfield Property Partners'  and ISPT's $800m 405 Bourke Street development is underway on the 39-storey tower which has NAB signed on as the anchor tenant. ISPT acquired 50% of the proposed development late last year 

We are excited to enter our first development joint venture with Brookfield and continue our 20 year business partnership with NAB, who are a valued customer to ISPT.

- Daryl Browning, CEO of ISPT

NAB will occupy all 31 office levels in the 66,000 sqm development, which will sit atop above three levels of retail. 405 Bourke will employ a side core configuration which allows it to cantilever over the adjoining building at 399 Bourke Street.

The project is targeting 5 Star Green Star and 5 Star NABERs Energy and 4 Star NABERs Water ratings.

Construction is expected to commence in earnest next month with completion scheduled for March 2021.

311 Spencer Street | Cbus Property | Woods Bagot | Probuild

Is 2018 the year of commercial for the Melbourne market?
311 Spencer Street's core has commenced its ascent. Images: Cbus Property | redden

The new Victoria Police Centre at 311 Spencer Street has begun its skyward ascent with the core now visible above the street. 

The tower comprises a purpose built 39-storey A-grade commercial office building providing approximately 65,500 sqm of NLA and a 4 level basement for 600 cars. Victoria Police will relocate from their existing office at the World Trade Centre joining the City West Police Station next door. A full turnkey fit-out will also be delivered as part of the development in accordance with Victoria Police requirements including helipad and firing range.  

The building features typical floor plates of approximately 2,000 sqm and is targeting a 4.5 Star NABERS Energy and Water rating together with a 5 Star Green Star Office Design rating.  

Probuild expects to complete 311 Spencer by late 2019. 

1000 LaTrobe Street

Is 2018 the year of commercial for the Melbourne market?
1000 Latrobe Street was snapped up by Poly Australia with construction slated for late 2018. Image: Digital Harbour

Poly Australia plans to develop a 24-storey A-Grade office tower featuring approximately 31,500sqm of NLA at 1000 La Trobe Street in Docklands, after purchasing the site late last year and being granted a two-year extension by the State Government to commence the project.

1000 La Trobe Street will be Poly Australia’s first commercial building in Victoria, and as such we intend to ensure that it will become one of Docklands’ most impressive buildings, both visually and environmentally. Overlooking the Yarra River and the city skyline, we look forward to developing a world-class building that everyone within the Melbourne business district can be proud of. 

-  Steve Wang, Poly Victoria Executive Director

Designed by Woods Bagot, Poly Australia intends to begin construction of 1000 La Trobe Street in late 2018.

Looking ahead...

Other upcoming office projects in the pipeline include Melbourne Quarter Tower, Charter Hall's 55 King Street and potentially an office development on a combined 3,000sqm site comprising 140-150 Queen Street, 27 McKillop Street and 423 Bourke after it was reported in The Age that Cbus Property was in final negotiation for the former sites, in what could be another $1bn development. has previously looked at a development scenario for the combined sites (sans 423 Bourke Street) which we'll be revisiting shortly.

Meanwhile, GPT, owners of Melbourne Central, is this year pushing ahead with a $35m lobby upgrade which includes the realignment of the entry, and the creation of a retail and 'third space'. In addition to this, GPT is seeking a pre-commitment from a tenant to anchor a 20,000sqm office building atop the existing centre.

Laurence Dragomir

Laurence Dragomir

Laurence Dragomir is one of the co-founders of Urban Melbourne. Laurence has developed a wealth of knowledge and experience working in both the private and public sector specialising in architecture, urban design and planning. He also has a keen interest in the built environment, cities and Star Wars.

Commercial Development Melbourne Docklands Office towers

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