CROMWELL is breathing a sigh of relief after Qantas announced it would retain its global headquarters at its current offices in Sydney’s Mascot, after a scramble from competing state governments to win over the national carrier.
In September last year, following several months of halted domestic and international travel that incurred 8,000 job losses and a $1.9 billion annual loss, Qantas outlined a group-wide review of its property space on which it spends $40 million in rent each year.
Colliers was appointed to sublease about 25,000 sqm of office space nationally that Qantas had deemed surplus, including nearly 20,000 sqm at the Bourke Road site in Mascot, as well as 2,000 sqm at 333 Collins Street in Melbourne and 1,500 sqm in Hobart.
About 750 staff will remain at its Jetstar offices in Melbourne’s Collingwood, and the group’s heavy aircraft maintenance facility will stay at Brisbane Airport. Faced with losing the employment hubs, the NSW government agreed to provide Qantas with some or all of tax, property and cash incentives, but neither they nor Qantas have confirmed exactly what those entail.
Last year, the Queensland government struck a $200 million deal to keep Virgin’s headquarters in Brisbane.
Cromwell is the owner of the 48,000 sqm Mascot facility, which comprises four interlinked buildings strategically positioned near Sydney Airport and where more than 3,500 Qantas employees work form.
“We look forward to continuing our long-standing relationship with Qantas through the duration of their lease, which runs until 2032,” Cromwell’s head of property, Bobby Binning said.
Cromwell originally acquired the site in 2010 before embarking on a three-year $131 million refurbishment, transforming the outdated site into a campus style facility.
As well as office space, the facility features an auditorium, end-of-trip facilities, as well as conference, training and retail spaces and a covered atrium linking the buildings.