ANZ weighs up Gothic tower sale

ANZ Bank headquarters in Queen St, Melbourne.

ANZ is moving to bring its Gothic-style tower on Melbourne’s Queen St to market, a move that could see it reap around $250 million for the building, which served as the bank’s world headquarters before deciding to shift to the Docklands a decade ago.

The bank is understood to have taken advice on options for the tower, with a sale of the 100 Queen St property on the corner of Collins St under consideration.

While the move has long been considered, the prospect of shifting some staff to a new Lend Lease development and market demand for core blue-chip assets is believed to be tilting the bank towards a sale.

ANZ is not considered a natural property owner and in 2011 sold its headquarters in central Sydney to Boston-based Pembroke Real Estate, which has since redeveloped it into a $250 million A-grade tower.

The high-profile Melbourne tower, which houses the ANZ’s institutional arm, is considered a prize in the central business district

However, the bank is not considered a seller of its landmark building in Melbourne’s Docklands, which Lend Lease developed for it a decade ago in a $630 million transaction that saw the bank shift its headquarters to the 83,000sqm 10-storey complex on the Yarra River.

Another prompt may be Lend Lease stepping up efforts to win a precommitment from the ANZ for a $300 million complex in Melbourne’s Docklands. The bank could anchor a new-generation building at 839 Collins St, next to its existing Dockland headquarters, but a deal is yet to be finalised.

The historic ANZ Gothic Bank comprises two properties that were renovated and combined in 1923.

Both the developer and the bank declined to comment but the high-profile Melbourne tower, which houses the ANZ’s institutional arm, is considered a prize in the central business district.

The 37-floor ANZ World Headquarters building, constructed in 1993, was designed by Peddle Thorp Architects to integrate with the historic neo-gothic buildings at its base. It also sought to reflect their gothic themes and the tower remains connected to the Gothic Bank.

This article originally appeared on www.theaustralian.com.au/property.