In its occasional look at commercial property precincts, WA Business News this week gives an overview of the BankWest Tower.
The BankWest Tower is a 53-level office building comprising a ground floor lobby, 45 levels of office space, two basement levels and five levels for plant rooms and lift motors. The tower also incorporates the restored five-level Palace Hotel, which stands on the south-west corner of the site. The Palace Hotel has been integrated into the tower through the use of a glass atrium that forms the roof of the lobby for the tower and covers most of the Palace building.
The Commonwealth Bank purchased the Palace Hotel and surrounding sites in 1972 with the plan to demolish the hotel and further develop the site, which was strongly opposed at the time. The site was then sold by the Commonwealth Bank in 1978 to companies controlled by Alan Bond with the proviso that the hotel was restored as part of any development of the site. These companies then on-sold the site to Bond Corporation in 1980.
In 1984 the R&I Bank (now BankWest) purchased a half share in the site and became a joint developer with Bond Corporation. The R&I Bank became sole owner of the completed property in 1990 after purchasing Bond Corporation’s half share for $108 million.
The building was then bought, in 1994 for $146 million, by Jetcloud Pty Ltd, a company owned by AMP Limited (70 per cent) and Unisuper Limited (30 per cent). AMP Office Trust then purchased Unisuper’s 30 per cent interest in 2001 for $57.82 million and the two titles for 50 per cent interest in the property were cancelled and two new titles were issued, one for Jetcloud’s 70 per cent interest (on behalf of AMP’s Australian Core Property Portfolio) the other for AMP Office Trust’s 30 per cent interest.
In 2002 Valad Property Group purchased a 50 per cent share in the building from Australian Core Property Portfolio for $92.5 million. Then, in 2003, AMP Office Trust bought the remaining 20 per cent interest in the building from Jetcloud for $37 million. AMP Office Trust has since changed its name to Ronin Property Group.
BankWest has retained a head lease over the building since divesting its interest in the building’s ownership.
Site Area: 3,891sqm
Total Net Lettable Area: Office Tower – 36,025sqm – Typical floors range in area from 822.3sqm to 862.2sqm
Palace Hotel – 3,215sqm
Total – 39,240sqm
Owner: 50% Valad Property Group
50% Ronin Property Trust (Formerly AMP Office Trust)
Managing agent: CB Richard Ellis
Leasing agent: CB Richard Ellis
Developers: Rural & Industries Bank (Now BankWest) Austmark (Former Bond Corporation company)
Designer: Cameron, Chisholm and Nichol
RAIA(WA) Architecture Award for Commercial Buildings
1990 Heritage Listing: The Palace Hotel has been classified by the National Trust (1973) and entered into the Register of National Estates (1980).
The Palace Hotel has also been listed as a place of cultural heritage significance in the Perth Planning Scheme (1985) and admitted to the register of the WA Heritage Commission (2000).
Valuation: $185 million – Based on valuation for Valad Property Group’s 50 per cent interest in October 2002.
Tenants: The building is wholly leased to the Bank of Western Australia for 15 years, expiring November 2009. The bank occupies levels 4-10, 17-20, 23-25, 27-28, half of 29, 32-35, 46, 47 and 49, as well as the Palace Hotel on the corner as its branch office. All other tenants sub-let from the bank.
Health Insurance Commission – five levels
Medibank Private – one floor
Macquarie Corp – half of one floor
Ferrier Hodgson – one floor
Deacons – three floors
Hall Chadwick – one and a half floors
Bridge Partners – one floor
CMIEC – half of one floor
Goldman Sachs JB Were – most of one floor
Pivot Group – one floor
Saracen Properties – part of one floor
Bond Net – part of one floor