Golden Age starts on $190m office

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GOLDEN Age Group has kicked off construction on its $190 million boutique commercial office building on Melbourne’s Little Collins Street, one of the largest strata office builds to commence since the pandemic began.

The project has seen 50% of offices sold since its launch late last year.

Rising 28 levels, the project is a collaboration between a design team including Cox Architecture, Hecker Guthrie and Jack Merlo. Levels two to 27 consist of column-free floorplates offering sun-drenched office spaces with maximised floor-to-ceiling heights of 2.7 metres, with an additional wrap-around garden terrace on level eight.

A selection of flexible strata floorplates is on offer, ranging in size from 82 sqm to 556 sqm.

Once complete, the project will also provide retail tenancy activation to Coromandel Place, assisting with the revitalisation and in alignment with the City of Melbourne laneway activation and greening strategies.

Some 343 jobs will have been created throughout the whole development cycle of the project. Probuild was appointed as the builder following completion of Golden Age’s Sky Garden project above Vicinity Centres and Perron Group’s The Glen shopping centre in Glen Waverley.

The construction commencement celebration was attended by Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp who said every crane in the sky is a sign of confidence in Melbourne’s future.

“Melbourne’s CBD strata office market has remained resilient despite the challenges of COVID-19 and is outperforming other major CBDs across the country,” the Lord Mayor said.

“Every dollar invested now, every worker that comes back into a CBD office, every extra job created through the construction sector has flow-on benefits for all the small and medium-sized businesses in our city.”

The 651 sqm site was formerly home to the Uniting Church’s eight-level office building and was bought by Golden Age two years ago for a figure north of $40 million and with a permit for a 27-level hotel. Golden Age made the purchase just a couple of months after selling its 85 Spring Street apartment and hotel project nearby for $112 million as the development market slowed.

Colliers data shows the average per sqm rate for east end CBD strata office transactions in 2021 is $16,637, 20% higher than it was in 2020 and 10% higher than 2019.

Golden Age founder and managing director, Jeff Xu said there is currently limited opportunity for quality office space of all sizes in the east-end of the Melbourne CBD. He added that many tenants within Melbourne’s eastern core have historically had to renew within the precinct given the lack of supply and availability but 130 Little Collins has catered to the pent-up demand.

“The typical commercial building has been turned on its head; we’re witnessing a preference towards more boutique floorplans as a result of businesses scaling down their requirements for an office, coupled with something that greater emphasises lifestyle and wellbeing.”

A communal garden rooftop terrace offers an outdoor space for casual meetings and lunches and at night, transforms into a space to entertain, complete with a kitchenette. Visitors will have access to private change rooms with showers and towel service, individual storage lockers and a waiting lounge, and bicycle parking facilities.

The tower is targeting a 5-Star NABERS design potential, 5-Star Green Star Design and As-Built, in addition to WELL Certification.

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