The ARC, ending a hunt for space that started nine months ago, is expected to build a 5000-square-metre building on land it owns in Harcourt Street and uses as a car park.
The new building will be developed behind a 5000 sq m office building and a 1900 sq m warehouse, both of which will be refurbished.
ARC bought the 6526 sq m site at auction in 2001 for $7.1 million from computer and business machine maker NCR Australia.
The ARC was cashed up after selling its prominent headquarters in Balston Street, Southbank, to residential developer Central Equity for $20 million. There is now high-rise apartment buildings on the site.
Work on ARC’s North Melbourne headquarters could start by the end of the year and be finished by Christmas next year, sources said.
Another building the ARC owns, in Pelham Street, Carlton, may be sold and could fetch more than $4.5 million.
CB Richard Ellis global corporate services manager Sally Henderson, acting for the charity, said the ARC needed more space because of increased demand for its services and the expansion of international operations.
She declined to comment on other sites the ARC had looked at, but industry sources said the group inspected an office building under construction in Lygon Street and Docklands options, including The Gauge and 370 Docklands Drive.
Agents believe the ARC’s North Melbourne asset would be worth about $65 million as a fully tenanted, twin-building investment.
Earlier this year, the Metropolitan Fire Brigade paid more than $12 million for a 4542 sq m development site in Roden Street, North Melbourne.