Approval arrives for Melbourne Quarter Tower

Artist’s impression of Melbourne Quarter Tower.

Development heavyweight Lendlease is swinging back into action in the Victorian capital, winning approval for the $1 billion Melbourne Quarter Tower.

The company is also part of two of the three consortiums recently short-listed to build the North East Link’s twin road tunnels.

The Andrews government announced the three bidders vying for the $7 billion to $9 billion works contract as part of a public-private partnership.

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Lendlease’s engineering unit is advising the Spark consortium, which also comprises Salini Impregilo, GS Engineering and Construction, China Construction Oceania, Broadspectrum Australia, Capella Capital and John Laing Investments.

Meanwhile, Lendlease’s services unit is part of the ViaNova bidding group, comprising John Holland, Acciona Construction, Plenary and Acciona Concesiones. Both are up against OneLink and their participation indicates the company’s confidence in a recovery of the sector.

Lendlease chief financial officer Tarun Gupta told investors this week final round offers for the overall engineering unit were due in coming weeks and a sale was possible by end of 2019.

This group suffered heavy losses on three key projects last year and is exiting the area — taking on work that has a lower profile.

Last Sunday Lendlease engineering, in a joint venture with CIMIC, secured the earthworks project for Sydney’s Badgerys Creek airport, worth $644 million.

Lendlease also has six apartment sites “shovel-ready” and a new tower project at Barangaroo in the works.

But office towers are offering the best prospects.

Melbourne Quarter Tower will be the third and largest commercial building in Lendlease’s $2.9 billion precinct.

One Melbourne Quarter CBD tower office open space

An artist’s impression of One Melbourne Quarter.

Sitting on Collins St and opposite Southern Cross station, the 34-level tower will include about 70,000sqm of office space. An elevated sky park will also be constructed.

Designed by architects Woods Bagot, the building will target top international standards in wellness and sustainability and include more than 7000sqm of technology-enabled green spaces and parks.

The building is designed to allow daylight to spill into the precinct’s public spaces and it will also sport a “Wellness Hub” which will feature childcare and allied health services. It will also offer co-working spaces.

The precinct will see the creation of a series of connecting laneways including a direct link between Melbourne’s Flinders and Collins streets.

Building on Melbourne Quarter Tower will begin later this year, pitting it against projects by Dexus, Charter Hall, Mirvac, GPT and Cbus Properties.

Once complete, the Melbourne Quarter precinct will include about 140,000sqm of premium space.

The first tower will house Arup, AMP and Lendlease.

EnergyAustralia and IWG will have a presence on the 25th level of the second building.

“Melbourne Quarter will offer next-generation workplaces, city living, a vibrant retail mix and green public spaces,” Lendlease managing director, urban regeneration, John Burton says.

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