Charter Hall has begun construction of its $1.5-billion commercial tower on Melbourne’s Collins Street, home to Amazon’s new corporate headquarters.
The first stage of 555 Collins Street, delivered by Lendlease Constructions, will comprise a $750-million, premium-grade office tower on the corner of Collins and King streets.
The initial 48,000sq m tower will be followed by a 32,000sq m tower.
The project gained fast-tracked approval in May of last year after being identified by the state government as one of several major projects to be advanced in an effort to get building and development projects moving as quickly as possible during the pandemic.
Charter Hall, led by managing director David Harrison, secured the 15,000sq m pre-commitment from Amazon late last year as Melbourne emerged from its long second lockdown.
Harrison said the state-of-the-art, future-ready development would perfectly match its incoming anchor tenant, Amazon.
Up to 7500 CBD workers will work in the two office buildings, designed by Cox Architecture and Gensler to respond to the new Covid-19 operating environment.
Smart building technology will monitor air quality, while touchless amenities will support enhanced health, hygiene and wellness in the buildings.
Amazon Web Services Australia managing director Adam Beavis said the office development was a natural fit for the sustainably focused global tech firm.
The building is targeting a 6-Star Green rating and is being constructed under a carbon neutral framework.
“Melbourne has a rich community of innovators,” Beavis said.
“We are looking forward to bringing [our] growing local workforce to 555 Collins Street so we can continue to invent and innovate on behalf of customers across our Amazon and AWS businesses in Australia.”
The Amazon commitment has underscored the extent to which large tech players have become one of the big drivers for office demand, in a market still disrupted by the pandemic and longer-term uncertainty over the impact of the working-from-home trend.
Charter Hall said practical completion of stage one was scheduled for early 2023.
The project will sit within Charter Hall’s office portfolio, now comprising $21.2 billion in funds under management.