Department of Finance signs on at One Canberra building

An artist’s impression of the One Canberra building from developer the Willemsen Group.

Developer the Willemsen Group has signed a multi-million-dollar long-term lease with the Commonwealth Department of Fin­ance for a new office building in Canberra near Parliament House.

Last year the department’s proposed lease came in for scrutiny by the parliamentary Public Works Committee and was later approved. It comes at a time when renewed interest in Canberra’s ­office market is driving a busy year of sales.

The A-grade 24,065sqm building, known as One Canberra, is at the corner of National Circuit and Canberra Avenue, 500m from the Parliament House. It consists of five levels of flexible floor plates varying from 2200sqm-5000sqm with the leasing deal brokered by Raine & Horne Commercial.

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The Department of Finance has signed for more than 15 years in one of the few Commonwealth deals of this magnitude finalised over the past three years, according to Angus Raine, executive chairman of Raine & Horne Commercial.

“This was a drawn-out transaction that was three years in the making and involved the ­Department of Finance consolidating into one building, where previously it occupied five different locations in Canberra,” Raine says.

The fitout was critical to the department signing the long-term lease

The exact value of the lease is not disclosed due to a confidentiality agreement, but the annual lease is believed to be worth millions, with the deal understood to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars over the life of the lease.

The department had to convince the Public Works Committee last year that the deal was value for money compared with upgrading its current headquarters the John Gorton building.

The deal also includes a $32 million fitout paid by landlord Willemsen.

“The Willemsen Group worked closely with Raine & Horne Commercial Canberra and the tenant to deliver a high-quality fitout that met the Department’s needs. The fitout was critical to the department signing the long-term lease,” Raine says

One Canberra has been designed and modelled to achieve a 5-star NABERS rating, independent of solar generation.

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