Service firms zero in on Geelong Quarter

Franze Developments, Geelong Quarter. External renders of the development at 44 Ryrie St, Geelong.

Legal, accounting and other Geelong professional services businesses are in talks with developers about leasing in the first commercial office tower on Ryrie St in 10 years.

Franze Developments’ managing director Paul Franze said the businesses were among the target market for the 11-storey office building that’s part of the Geelong Quarter development, anchored by the 180-room Holiday Inn & Suites.

“Our market that we’re trying to target from an office perspective from our research shows there is up to 20,000sqm of demand and uptake over the next two to five years,” Franze says.

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“We’re targeting local Geelong businesses. Our floorplates are on average about 700sq m, whereas some of the bigger floorplates are in excess of 1000sqm.”

Geelong Quarter

An external render of the development at 44 Ryrie St, Geelong.

“Obviously if there’s a government or corporate client that requires been 2000sq m and 5000sq m, we’ll look to try and service those guys but we feel there’s a lack of A-grade office space that services local Geelong businesses.”

Franze says while the recent development boom serviced large government clients like NDIS and WorkSafe, there hasn’t been a smaller AAA-quality building developed to service local businesses.

Geelong Quarter cafe

A cafe will be the main tenant in the ground floor lobby and retail area.

Unlike some office developments, which rely on major tenants commit to leases before construction, Franze says work will have to commence before many tenants sign on.

“It takes a bit longer to work through the process.

“Quite often you have to spec a development and get it start so people can get confidence that it is going to proceed,” he says.

The service core, including lifts, is at the side of the building, leaving open floorplates for flexible office design.

Franze says the developers are talking to half a dozen groups at the moment.

He said the Holiday Inn & Suites will form a key plank in attracting businesses to lease in the commercial project, activating the space and providing function and shared office space in the Level 1 skylobby.

“It’s a concept that is come out of Europe and the US,” he says.

Geelong Quarter facilities

End of trip facilities include showers, lockers and bicycle storage.

“You’ve still got a drop-off area on the ground floor but that leads you upstairs where there is a hotel lobby, function area, conferencing, cafe, a bar so it encourages people to use that area.

“That area is a link to the office on Level 1,” he says.

Demolition of the existing buildings at 44 Ryrie St is expected to start this month, with construction anticipated to start next autumn.

This article from the Geelong Advertiser originally appeared as “City service firms targeted for Geelong Quarter development”.