12/03/2008 - 22:00

Space race tight despite Capital plan

12/03/2008 - 22:00

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While there is no shortage of tenants looking for space in the Perth CBD, Saville Australia’s proposed 60,000 square metre office tower at Capital Square has actually intensified the competition to secure one of the largest tenants in the market left to p

Space race tight despite Capital plan

While there is no shortage of tenants looking for space in the Perth CBD, Saville Australia’s proposed 60,000 square metre office tower at Capital Square has actually intensified the competition to secure one of the largest tenants in the market left to pre-commit.

Before Saville announced its plans, the proposed 46,000sqm Bishops See tower by Multiplex and Hawaiian was thought to be the only suitable option available to the Department of Premier and Cabinet, which has a formal request in the marketplace for 30,000sqm of office space by September 2011.

However, Griffin Group’s 24,000sqm office tower on the southern portion of the Westralia Square site is understood to still be a contender if the plan is modified or the department decides to split its leasing commitment over two sites.

In confirming Saville’s plans for the new Mount Street office tower last week, the company’s sales and marketing director, Peter Gianoli, said it was already speaking with prospective tenants and needed to secure an anchor tenant to occupy at least half of the tower.

Mr Gianoli said Saville would lodge a development application with the City of Perth next month, and was negotiating a building contract with construction outfit, John Holland, which it engaged to complete forward works for its adjacent 41-level River Plaza apartment tower after Sydneybased Contexx pulled out.

“We should finalise the main contract next month [with John Holland]...our intention is to work to the original schedule and this is on track.

The five-year time frame won’t change,” Mr Gianoli said.

“If approvals are received, we’ll start on the office tower in about six months’ time so that forward works can continue seamlessly across the site, just as the River Plaza construction begins.” Designed by architectural firm Crone Robinson, Mr Gianoli said the tower was likely to have floor plates of between 1,700-1,800sqm in size, taking the office component to more than 33 floors.

The building is expected to be much taller than Saville’s River Plaza, due to its high podium and extended glass roof, and could rival Central Park for the title of Perth’s tallest building.

Mr Gianoli said Saville had originally planned three apartment towers for the 18,000sqm site but market dynamics had since changed and an office development had become equally feasible.

While property pundits are not holding their breath awaiting the leasing decision by the state government, many are eager for energy giant Chevron to make its next leasing move now that the company has made a commitment to develop its second gas project off the Pilbara coast.

Chevron is unofficially looking to move from its office in QV1 into 20,000sqm of office space, although the company could also split its commitment across several sites in case its Perth-based workforce is ever scaled back.

Fellow resources player Monadelphous is also believed to be on the hunt for a new office in the order of 8,000-12,000sqm and has several developments to choose from, including Bishops See stage two, Capital Square, the 15,000sqm remaining in Century City at 100 St Georges Terrace and 16,000sqm at 226 Adelaide Terrace.

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