23/04/2008 - 22:00

Big names move to the ’burbs

23/04/2008 - 22:00

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National construction major John Holland is set to move its Perth headquarters to Herdsman in a major signal that the suburban market has become a strong option for CBD companies.

Big names move to the ’burbs

National construction major John Holland is set to move its Perth headquarters to Herdsman in a major signal that the suburban market has become a strong option for CBD companies.

To underline the case, John Holland’s neighbour will be Consolidated Minerals, which is exiting West Perth in August for new premises in the Herdsman Business Park on Walters Drive.

John Holland will take 2,610 square metres on the top two floors and signage rights at 67 Walter Drive, a new building constructed by BGC Group and set for occupation following a fit-out.

The Health Department has signed up for three floors, taking 3,610sqm, with the bulk of that at $300/sqm.

The deals in the BGC-built office have been undertaken by CB Richard Ellis senior director office services, Andrew Denny, who pointed out that John Holland had more than halved its rental bill with the move at the same time as consolidating its operations into one new building with parking and other cost benefits.

BGC plans to retain ownership of the building and is known to have a preference for long-term, high-quality tenants.

John Holland will be moving from a variety of different levels at the Durack Centre, 263 Adelaide Terrace. The Sydney-based group is understood to have beaten the Perth operations of US-based Chicago Bridge & Iron for the space. Chicago Bridge is based at 220 St Georges Terrace.

Mr Denny would not confirm the identity of other bidders but said there had been significant interest, with three bidders for one floor in the building – a level with a big balcony.

John Holland western region general manager Adam Harry said the business would relocate about 120 staff under one roof, including specialist employees from its rail, structural mechanical process, telecommunications, power and national road group divisions.

“We constructed the building we are in in Adelaide Terrace 20 years ago,” Mr Harry said.

“This is a new chapter. After 20 years we will bring together all the elements of John Holland in one centre.”

John Holland follows the lead of Michael Malone’s iiNet Ltd, which is shifting out of its Durack Centre headquarters to Subiaco.

Recently privatised, diversified miner Consolidated Minerals Ltd also confirmed its plans to shift from Ventnor Avenue in West Perth to Herdsman, a move understood to have been signed by Lachlan Lewis, also of CB Richard Ellis.

About 80 staff will make the move to new premises being developed by Primewest Group at 71 Walters Drive, a three-level building with floor plates exceeding 1,300sqm.

ConsMins spokesman David Brooks said the business, which delisted earlier this year after being taken over by Ukrainian group Palmary Enterprises, had struggled to find suitable premises in the CBD area.

“Where we are is basically full,” Mr Brooks said.

“We’ve grown a little bit and needed adequate space for current and future needs.”

CB Richard Ellis’ Andrew Denny said the shift from the CBD to suburban locations was limited only by space available.

“We would see a lot more (movement) if we had more product in the suburbs,” he said.

Mr Denny said CBD businesses looking to move out of the City of Perth were competing with existing businesses in the suburbs which were also expanding.

“It is a worldwide trend to go to the suburbs,” he said.

“The last time this happened was in the 1980s, then you saw a lot of people move from central Perth to West Perth.”

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