Brookfield Multiplex Completes $137M Green Office Development in Melbourne

Global contractor Brookfield Multiplex just finished building 171 Collins St., the city’s first premium-grade commercial development in 20 years, for $137 million.

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

171 Collins Street

Australia’s property market is sizzling these days, especially Melbourne. With a bevy of waterfront and CBD development and redevelopment projects such as the Convesso Concavo and 567 Collins St., Australia’s second most populous city is certainly keeping busy.

One of the latest additions to Melbourne’s bustling CBD is 171 Collins Street, the city’s first premium grade commercial development in 20 years. The $137 million (AUD 143 million) project just finished construction, becoming the third commercial tower that global contractor Brookfield Multiplex finished in Melbourne in just as many months.

“We are proud to be involved in transforming the Melbourne skyline with environmentally sustainable, design-savvy buildings that build on the city’s strong architectural heritage,” said Brookfield Multiplex’s Regional Managing Director of Victoria Graham Cottam.

Located at the Paris End (of Collins Street) the two-building project features 339,000 square feet of net leasable area. More than 320,000 square feet comprise the 18-floor newly constructed office tower that backs into Flinders Lane, of which 16,000 square feet is luxury retail space located on the lower levels.

While the new construction’s office space consists of campus-style floor plates, the second building, a restored historic structure, encompasses boutique office spaces of about 2,700 square feet each, amounting to a total of 18,300 square feet. Known as the Mayfair building, the gutted and rehabbed former theatre building also features street-level luxury retail space. Mayfair’s façade has been restored to its original 1913 condition. The office tower’s architectural highlights include a nine-story high glass atrium and natural stone, travertine, glass and steel finishes throughout. Building amenities include a 137-car secure below-grade parking garage, 296 bike parking spaces, bicycle air-fill stations, a business center, change rooms, lockers and showers.

A bevy of green features such as the use of recycled concrete, steel and cement, the implementation of destination-controlled elevators, state-of-the-art rainwater and grey water recycling systems, under the floor air distribution system, low VOC interiors, double-glazed windows and designated waste storage, separation and recycling area have all contributed to the tower receiving a Green Star 6 star Office Design rating from the Green Building Council of Australia. The office tower is also awaiting a 6 star Green Star As-Built rating and a 5 star NABERS Energy base building rating, while the Mayfair is also expected to receive Environmentally Sustainable Design, As-Built and Energy Rating marks. The project is located in close proximity to public transport, as well as shopping and entertainment.

Office leasing is handled by Colliers International Australia and Knight Frank Australia, while retail leasing is handled by Melbourne-based Fitzroys. The Mayfair Building is fully leased, with the top six floors taken up by independent Australian-owned investment house Evans and Partners, while the first floor and street level space is leased by Dolce & Gabbana. The tower’s anchor tenant is BHP Billiton Ltd., an Anglo-Australian multinational mining and petroleum company and the world’s largest mining company based on 2011 revenues. The company has taken up the top eight floors of the tower as well as part of the ground floor. Global executive search firm Egon Zehnder has also signed up as a tenant of the property. About half of the tower is up for leasing.

171 Collins St. is jointly owned by Charter Hall, an Australian property group, specialized in owning and managing office retail and industrial properties and Cbus Property, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cbus, an industry superannuation fund for the construction, building, infrastructure & allied industries, with funds under management currently in the order of $20 billion. APP, a wholly-owned, independent subsidiary of Transfield Services (Holdings) Pty Limited, provided project management and superintendency services during development. Brookfield Multiplex provided construction services. Australian architecture firm Bates Smart designed the project. In early September, 171 Collins won the Environmental Development Award – the top environment award from the Australian Property Institute, scoring 100 per cent Green Star in management, energy and water efficiency.