BP is understood to be formalising plans to lease about 10,600 square metres at the once besieged 567 Collins Street office development, between Spencer and King streets, well placed sources say.
BP would join law firm Allens Arthur Robinson, which in March this year announced it would lease about 13,000 square metres of space at the proposed new 33-level tower.
Its lease would raise occupancy levels in the 55,000 square metre building to about 43 per cent, and put to rest continued speculation the project may be shelved, because of particularly low tenant pre-commitment levels.
Details on exactly when construction could start are unknown.
The 567 Collins Street development is owned by APN Property Group Development Fund No 1 and Leighton Properties, which bought a half share of the building in August. A spokesman for the consortium declined to comment on a lease deal, when contacted by The Age.
Colliers International agents Doug Cleine and Tony Landrigan, who are marketing 567 Collins Street offices for lease, also declined to comment.
Sources speculate BP subsidiary Elite Customer Solutions may relocate from its Southbank offices, to either 485 LaTrobe Street or 277 William Street, but this could not be confirmed. Elite issued a requirement for about 6,000 square metres of space in late July.
CB Richard Ellis associate director global corporate services Sally Henderson, representing BP declined to comment on any lease negotiations.
Coincidentally, 277 William Street is owned by the Stamoulis family, who sold APN the 567 Collins Street development site for $25.1 million in 2005.
Earlier this week, law firm Minter Ellison announced it would renew its lease at the Rialto office building, signing for 14,000 square metres of space.
Last month, law firm Mills Oakley announced it would lease 3,524 square metres of space at 530 Collins Street, the former Australian Stock Exchange building.
Tenancy Matters director Christopher Goodwin says the shelving of several major CBD office projects this year, has put increased pressure on existing Premium and A-grade space.