US firm to build timber office tower in Collingwood

A concept design for the timber tower in Collingwood.

US real estate firm Hines has forged into office development in Australia with the purchase of a site in the inner Melbourne suburb of Collingwood where it will build a timber tower.

The group has snapped up a 2120sqm corner site at 36-52 Wellington St and will develop a building using what it terms its “T3 strategy”, employing timber in area benefiting from new transit an technology systems.

The Hines methodology replaces traditional concrete and steel with prefabricated, solid wood systems, with the aim of creating sustainable buildings.

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Jackson Clements Burrows Architects will design a building, with the architectural form reflecting both the area’s industrial heritage and the wave of contemporary new projects, including buildings by Cbus, Pace, Grocon and Gurner.

The Hines tower will sport large social areas and terraces, public spaces and top class end of trip facilities. The site was purchased for $28.5 million in a transaction brokered by Andrew Ryan and Peter Bremner of Colliers International.

Hines managing director David Warneford said the project marked a significant milestone for the company’s expansion in Australia. “We are thrilled that the firm’s first Australian development will be with this T3 asset in Collingwood,” he said.

The company completed its prototype T3 project in Minneapolis in 2016 and has more such projects under way in Atlanta, Chicago, Denver and Toronto.

Hines is one of the world’s largest privately owned global real estate firms and has a presence in 214 cities worldwide.

Since entering Australia in 2011, Hines has acquired, owned, managed and sold more than $850 million worth of assets.

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