Developer, LAS Group and real estate investment firm, Qualitas, have awarded the $85m construction
contract for the build of St Kilda Road’s premium parkside development, The Fawkner, to Icon Co.
A joint venture between LAS Group and Qualitas, the $300million project will see the former Fawkner
Business Centre converted into a collection of premium apartments that will offer the same attention to
detail and dedication to quality of a luxuriously appointed home.
The existing building, first completed in 1973, will be retained while the exterior cladding will be stripped
back to its superstructure, with the original, mid-century design principals governing the new direction.
The remaining tenants of the 6,070sqm site, purchased by Qualitas and LAS group, vacated last month,
with construction now underway and the development now 80 per cent sold.
The adaptive reuse of this building will see lofty ceilings and expansive floorplates optimised in
residences of understated grandeur. A few key apartments remain amongst the carefully designed
collection by international firm, K.P.D.O. to mirror the form and functionality of a standalone home.
With more than 60 different apartment layouts over nineteen levels, constructing to this level of
specificity required the expertise of a builder not just capable of delivering to very exacting standards
but who could also manage the sheer amount of differentiation and the amount of bespoke detailing.
LAS Group Managing Director, Les Smith said Icon Co. was the natural choice given the complexity
associated with a conversion of this scale.
“An industry leader with 19 years of experience and proven capabilities in commercial and residential
construction and development, we believe Icon Co. is best placed to realise the site’s potential and
deliver our vision for an unparalleled premium residential offering that showcases the best of apartment
living,” Smith said.
Mark Fischer, Managing Director, Principal Investments at Qualitas, said “This is a significant project for
Qualitas, and we needed an experienced contractor who was willing to ‘roll up their sleeves’ to help us
unlock the puzzle of the adaptive reuse of the existing building. Icon Co. worked in partnership with us
to achieve that outcome, and their recent partnership with Kajima Corporation of Japan provides
significant balance sheet strength in support of the project.”
A suite of complementary spaces extend living and entertaining areas beyond the individual
apartment. With an infinity pool on the level seven podium that will float above the boulevard, a health
and wellness centre, an open air courtyard, gymnasium, multiple lounge areas, business facilities,
theatre, cellar, wine room, The Fawkner requires the expertise of a highly skilled construction team with
proven attention to detail.
To ensure the successful delivery of this project, Icon Co. worked collaboratively with the client and
design team for over nine months to devise a methodology which not only mitigates risk and skilfully
addresses existing structural conditions, but also promises to achieve the exacting level of quality and
detail the new residents will expect.
“We see the appointment of Icon Co. as an extension of our uncompromising commitment to quality
and precision. With Icon Construction on board, we and our purchasers have piece of mind that The
Fawkner will be delivered on time and to our uncompromising standards,” Smith added.
By retaining the existing structure, Icon Construction estimates the project will be completed in just 15
months by mid-2017, providing residents with a fast-tracked timeline from purchasing their apartment to
moving into their completed home.
Icon Construction’s Victorian Construction Director, Lou Raunik, said the site presented an exciting
opportunity to reinvigorate an exclusive pocket of one of Melbourne’s prominent boulevards.
“Contributing to the creation of such an iconic residence is a privilege and one in which we are
fortunate enough to share with LAS Group and Qualitas; it is refreshing to work with clients so
committed to positive urban regeneration and the restoration of a landmark building.”
“It is the calibre of this team that will distinguish The Fawkner from other developments and drive a
successful design outcome for residents and the community alike.”
Icon Construction’s current portfolio is worth an estimated $570M in Victoria, with 2016 likely to see the
company deliver $1,557M worth of projects across three states.