PGIM Australia has filed plans to convert one of “Brisbane’s most identifiable yet underutilised commercial buildings” into a contemporary post-Covid workplace.
The bronze office building, opposite the customs house, built in 1974 is just outside the Golden Triangle, the fast-moving financial district of Brisbane’s CBD.
PGIM purchased 444 Queens Street for $54.4 million from the Public Trustee of Queensland and Abacus Property Group in October.
The group initially planned to refurbish the 22-storey building but have instead decided to develop the 1700sq m site, reusing the existing structure but transforming it completely.
In plans lodged with the Brisbane City Council, it is now proposed to replace the outside with a curtain wall facade, strengthen the building, and create an improved podium and a sculptural canopy.
The plans by Fender Katsalidis also incorporate landscaping by Lat 27 and updates to the 900-to-1200sq m floor plates.
“By reusing the building’s existing structure, and adopting sustainability principles, the opportunity is provided to create new workplace environments that optimise the site aspect, access to natural light, and connection to the outdoors in a way that prioritises occupant wellness,” the application said.
“Building the Queen Street podium to the boundary will create a continuous reading that aligns with the adjoining Queensland Country Life facade and neighbouring buildings.
“The new rooftop canopy form will create a sculpted addition to the Brisbane skyline while providing workplace opportunities with access to generous outdoor space with subtropical green edges.”
The Brisbane office market is predicted to make a strong comeback in 2022 with occupancy rates above Melbourne and Sydney for most of this year.
Property Council of Australia data showed occupancy rose to 63 per cent of pre-Covid levels in November.
The city was popular for investors particularly within the Golden Triangle where more than $500-million worth of office towers recently changed hands.