Developer Plans $60m Office Block in Emerging Tech Precinct


Melbourne-based developer Elite Property Group has lodged plans for a $60-million commercial building in Richmond in the city’s inner east, an area fast emerging as a tech hub.

The L-shaped development is planned for two adjoining sites fronting Church and Kingston streets.

The 1200sq m site at 525 Church Street was purchased for $12 million in 2018 while 1-7 Kingston Street, a 700sq m site at the rear of the block, was picked up for $10 million in mid-2021.

The Church Street site, a former Richmond chocolate factory, was redeveloped in the 1990s to become one of Melbourne’s most famous car showrooms—Duttons Garage which is now based in South Yarra.

For the past decade it has been occupied as a prestige furniture retailer, Robertsons Furniture and Design.

Under a scheme designed by architecture firm Gray Puksand, Elite plans to build a 12-storey commercial block comprising 11,500sq m of office space. 

The glass office block will be alongside a five-storey commercial building occupied by REA Group to the north, an approved six-storey commercial building to the east and a two-storey industrial building to the south.

It will be tiered, providing tenants with three terrace areas—on levels four, five and 11.

▲ The development will be in the heart of the bustling Richmond and Cremorne neighbourhood, not far from the CBD. Image: Gray Puksand

The project’s ground floor will feature a cafe fronting Church Street, a retail shop fronting Kensington Street and will also include end-of-trip-facilities. It will sit above two basement levels for 67 vehicles and 140 bicycles. 

Elite, a private developer already busy with commercial projects across the inner city, is headed up by Leo Iazzolino.

The developer is known for its industrial and commercial projects predominantly in Melbourne’s industrial markets of Dandenong, Carrum Downs, Braeside, Moorabbin and Hallam.

Its development in Richmond will join an expanding neighbourhood on the city’s fringe—encompassing the suburbs of Cremorne and Burnley—which has attracted a growing number of blue-chip tenants and earned a reputation as a thriving tech and creative precinct.  

Once working class and industrial, the precincts are being transformed into hipster neighbourhoods, while an office market is also taking shape.

Major players including Tesla, Uber, the Walt Disney Company and Carsales have moved into the neighbourhood.

Domain and MYOB are also in the area, while Australia Post has committed to a new building being developed by Charter Hall on Richmond’s Swan Street.


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