Keppel REIT, Lendlease Completes 1st Bldg

Keppel REIT, Lendlease Completes 1st Bldg In NSW’s 2nd CBD

AUSTRALIA – Singapore’s Keppel REIT and Lendlease have finished construction of a Grade A boutique office block in North Sydney, the 2nd central business district (CBD) of New South Wales (NSW), reported The Urban Developer on Monday afternoon (19 September, SGT).

Located at the intersection of Blue and William streets, the 10-storey commercial property was constructed with a focus on “wellness and tenant experience”. The owners also plan to secure a 5-star Green Star Rating and a 5.5-star NABERS Energy Rating for the office tower.

Designed by architectural firm Woods Bagot, the boutique office building offers 15,000 sq m (161,459 sq ft) of workspace. Each level has floor-to-ceiling windows with panoramic views of the harbour. It also features a café, open spaces, a landscaped rooftop garden, and end-of-trip facilities.

Lisa Gordon, Head of commercial development at Lendlease, said many businesses are actively searching for the “next generation” in workplaces in a post-COVID era.

“We’re increasingly finding that prospective tenants are seeking out high quality, flexible and wellness conscious office spaces in prime locations.”

Lendlease and Keppel REIT jointly acquired the project in December 2021 via the former’s funds unit for A$327.7 million. The development was sold by developer Thirdi soon after it started construction in November with builder FDC.

Notably, Thirdi and private equity company Phoenix Property Investors combined the 2,300 sq m development site at 1-5 William Street and 2-4 Blue Street in late-2019. The site was intended for 40 residential apartments across 5 buildings, but it was replaced with an office project.

Nearby, Lendlease is poised to imminently start construction of its A$1.2-billion commercial and retail precinct that forms part of the Sydney Metro integrated station project.

Situated above North Sydney’s new metro station, the 42-storey Victoria Cross Tower will be one of the city’s most accessible and eco-friendly workplaces. It is expected to be completed by 2024.

But like many metropolises, NSW’s second CBD was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. As of July 2022, the area’s overall office vacancy reached 16.4 percent, down from 16.6 percent at the end of 2021, based on the latest data from the Property Council of Australia. In comparison, that in Sydney’s CBD rose to double digits at 10.1 percent.

At present, there is almost A$11 billion worth of new developments on the drawing board or under construction in North Sydney.

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