23/04/2008 - 22:00

Pockets of city space open up

23/04/2008 - 22:00

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While some big players vacate their city offices for the suburbs, they are making room for those who prefer to stay in the CBD.

Pockets of city space open up

While some big players vacate their city offices for the suburbs, they are making room for those who prefer to stay in the CBD.

Consulting engineering firm Sinclair Knight Merz is one business set to benefit, with the departure of John Holland from the Durack Centre expected to allow SKM to consolidate its Perth operations under one roof.

SKM is understood to have offices scattered about the CBD – including 16 and 150 St Georges Terrace – making it more difficult to coordinate busy boom-time operations from its Durack Centre state headquarters at the western end of Adelaide Terrace, where it currently leases almost 6,500 square metres.

The John Holland move frees up an unknown amount of space in the 17,312sqm, 13-storey Durack Centre, but the change is thought to be able to accommodate SKM’s Perth-based staff.

“They will consolidate back into this one building,” said a source.

SKM could not confirm the move.

The Durack Centre is undergoing other changes, with the development of a 5-storey, environmentally-friendly, sister building on the rear car park at the corner of Victoria Avenue and Terrace Road. Lease costs are thought to have reached about $650/sqm for A-grade quarters in the area.

The $34.5 million Stockland development has even sought permission to build three wind turbines on top of the new office building to provide power for the building’s ancillary services, such as car park lighting.

That is one of a number of office developments in the eastern part of the CBD, as developers have recognised the growing need for office space.

South Perth-based property developer Finbar Group Ltd last year scrapped its plans for a $80 million, 192-apartment residential tower in favour of a 15-storey office building.

It received approval for its office tower on the former Fairlanes Bowling site at 175 Adelaide Terrace last week.

The building will contain 16,550sqm of A-grade office space, as well as a ground floor plaza that is likely to include a wine bar, restaurant and cafe.

Construction is expected to begin early in 2009.

The move is in contrast to recent activity for Finbar, which has more than 800 apartments just completed, in progress or planned for the area.

An office development next to the former RAC building in Adelaide Terrace has pushed the new commercial space coming on stream to about 40,000sqm of new office space.

Queensland-based First State Development is understood to have purchased the site at 226 Adelaide Terrace for between $12 million and $14 million from Mimi Wong’s The Golden Group.
It is believed First State plans a 13,000sqm office development with floor plates at around 2,000sqm, reflecting demand from business for large spaces.

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