The National Bank is on the lookout for new headquarters in Perth, newly appointed general manager of business and financial services WA, Geoff Greer, has told WA Business News.
Due to its significant space requirements, it’s expected the bank will become an anchor tenant for one of Perth’s proposed office developments.
Mr Greer said the best configuration options were being considered but nothing concrete had been confirmed.
“We have been in our current office for a while and could do with more floor space,” he said.
“Our plans are to expand, and we are looking at our options accordingly.
“Realistically though, nothing will happen in the short term, because a new building would take at least a couple of years to get up.”
NAB currently occupies 7,000 square metres over eight levels (and a branch on the ground floor) at 50 St Georges Terrace.
And in a further sign that sectors other than resources are helping drive the leasing market, BankWest senior manager of property assets Peter Regan said it was likely the bank would occupy the 2.5 floors currently vacant in the BankWest tower, in part because of the recent takeover by HBOS.
CB Richard Ellis manager Andrew Woodley-Page said it was well know in the market that NAB was looking for about 9,000sq m of office space.
“There is no building with that much space vacant, so they would need to anchor a new building,” he said.
“NAB has shown that they are quite progressive by moving to the Docklands in Melbourne, and are not averse to change, so are more likely to do something different here [in Perth] .”
Mr Woodley-Page said that, during the past six months, the office leasing market had delivered the best result since July 1995.
“This is due to several reasons. Organic growth of existing tenants, West Perth being practically full, and the suburban market also not having the space available,” he said.
“However, with the Ernst and Young and Allendale buildings, new space will be created.
“Given all the supply, positive vacancy rates are peaking now and we will see things tighten up again.”
At the smaller end of the scale, according to Knight Frank research, small resource explorers and producers dominate leasing activity in the range from 300 to 1,000sq m.
The research demonstrated that major tenants absorb premium and A-grade space, while smaller players are taking up surplus space in A- and B-grade buildings.