Fred IT Group pre-commit to a quarter of Abbotsford’s Craftworks

One amenity – an auditorium space capable of accommodating 300 guests – is said to have been a major driver for Fred IT’s pre-commitment to Craftworks.

EXCLUSIVE

Fred IT Group – which designs and develops technologies for professionals and businesses in the healthcare sector – is moving headquarters within Melbourne’s inner north east Abbotsford.

The 28 year old enterprise has pre-committed to 2421 square metres at Craftworks, a prime quality office set to be developed at 20-30 Mollison Street on the north east corner of Nicholson Street.

Craftworks will replace a low-rise warehouse once occupied by Sabena Fashion Group and Rove McManus’ Roving Enterprises.

With Fred IT’s commitment, construction is set to start in June and be completed by the end of next year.

The Abbotsford office will replace a warehouse once occupied by Sabena Fashion Group and Rove McManus’ Roving Enterprises.

The occupier will relocate from a low-rise premises about 500 metres away: 20 Trenerry Crescent, at the north east corner of Turner Street backing onto the Yarra River, is at one of Abbotsford’s leafiest and highest character pockets surrounded by red-brick office converted warehouses including the art deco ex-BYFAS factory.

Craftworks faces one tree-lined row (Nicholson Street) and is opposite both the 1874 Denton Hat Mills factory which was converted about 12 years ago into apartments with ground floor retail targeted to high-quality cafes and eateries (something missing from the gentrifying suburb at the time) and c1893 former St Joseph’s School.

Fred IT, which has leased its next headquarters for an initial 10 year term, was represented by Cushman & Wakefield’s Grant Tinker.

One big amenity drove this deal: agents

Colliers International’s Ash Dean and Travis Myerscough are managing the Craftworks leasing campaign for CHT Architects – 20-30 Mollison Street’s designer and co-owner.

The complex will contain two levels of basement car parking, ground floor retail, seven storeys of offices and a common rooftop terrace with bar.

Fred IT’s commitment for levels three and four represents 25 per cent of the asset’s 9664 sqm lettable area.

It is also leasing 44 car spaces.

While the rent it is paying is undisclosed – the office floors below are asking about $500 per sqm per annum pre-incentives. The upper spaces are seeking nearly $600 psm/pa.

The floorplates are similarly sized (between 1279-1348 sqm) and, for occupiers considering two or more levels, can be fit out with internal staircases.

Mr Dean said one of the building’s amenities – an auditorium capable of holding up to 300 visitors – was a major attraction for Fred IT which “previously hired offsite venues to accommodate for staff training and functions”.

Craftworks will additionally contain a recreation room, wellness centre, communal theatre and gym. Its retail component will be occupied by a café, gallery and pop-up designer stores.

The complex will also offer dog day care, a community garden and sophisticated end-of-trip facilities.

About two kilometres from the CBD – immediately north of Richmond, east of Collingwood and adjacent to East Melbourne – Abbotsford is one of the suburbs where the Eastern Freeway terminates.

Confusingly, it is where Collingwood train station is located. Collingwood Football Club’s former home ground, Victoria Park, is also in the suburb.

Fred IT’s new office is a block from retail strip Victoria Street which is serviced by trams connecting to hospitals and major healthcare related precincts in Box Hill and East Melbourne.

In late 2018 the innovation company won a $22.8 million federal government contract to implement and build a national data exchange service ahead of the roll-out of a system allowing real-time monitoring of prescription drugs.

Craftworks’ proposed entrance foyer.
The proposed rooftop bar and terrace at 20-30 Mollison Street, Abbotsford, will capture views of the Melbourne CBD two kilometres away.
The art deco BYFAS factory is in Abbotsford’s Trenerry Crescent – not far from the Craftswork site.

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Marc Pallisco

A freelance property analyst and journalist, Marc is a co-founder of realestatesource.com.au.

Marc Pallisco