ISPT, CBus Confirm $700 Million Bourke Junction Development, Docklands. Suncorp Major Tenant.

Following an extensive bidding process, the successful Bourke Junction consortium today announced it had entered a development agreement with VicUrban, the state’s sustainable urban development authority, for the project to be known as Bourke Junction.

The five building mixed use project will comprise over 150,000 square metres of built area including the development of two landmark commercial towers; a 250 room hotel; restaurant and bar facilities; and a five level mixed-use building incorporating a medical centre, retail facilities, a business club and gymnasium.

Bourke Junction occupies a prominent site adjacent to Telstra Dome, on the corner of Bourke Street and Wurundjeri Way, and will improve pedestrian access in the precinct through the construction of additional pathways from the Bourke Street concourse, between Southern Cross Station and the stadium, and the establishment of new laneways.

The project’s design initiatives include a blackwater treatment system, solar hot water systems and extensive facilities for cyclists.

The 29 storey northern building will be jointly developed by ISPT and Cbus Property and will incorporate approximately 45,000 square metres of 5 Star Green Star commercial office space as well as approximately 1,140 square metres of retail space. ISPT and Cbus are well advanced in securing office space pre commitments from two major corporations.

The southern building and hotel are being jointly developed by ISPT and EPC Partners. The landmark office building will have a net lettable area of approximately 35,000 square metres over 21 levels, with floorplates averaging 2,000 square metres. The hotel is proposed to house 250 rooms and be a 4 star operation. ISPT and EPC Partners have confirmed leading diversified financial services provider, Suncorp, has committed to the lower rise of the office tower, representing approximately half the NLA.

Both buildings will feature two lobbies, one at a concourse level and one at the Bourke Street level.

Construction is scheduled to commence in the second half of 2008 and the project will be delivered in stages with final completion scheduled for 2012. Architectural firm Hassell are responsible for the masterplan and South Tower, Hotel and central building design and Woods Bagot are responsible for the North Tower design.

The project aims to improve access to and from Telstra Dome but will also provide enhanced connections between Docklands and Melbourne CBD, dramatically easing the foot traffic congestion that currently occurs on event days.

Representatives of the Bourke Junction consortium made these comments at the official launch today.

ISPT Chief Executive Officer, Mr Daryl Browning said ISPT with our partners EPC and Cbus Property are proud to be involved in a project of this scale and significance and shares VicUrban’s commitment to ensure Bourke Junction performs to the highest environmental standards.

“Bourke Junction will be developed to a high environmental performance standard and has been registered for a Green Star design rating. We look forward to working closely with our joint venture partners to deliver a project that will transform this key site into a vibrant business precinct and provide a significant boost to the entire Docklands area,” Mr Browning said.

Cbus Property Chief Executive Officer, Mr Adrian Pozzo said he was delighted to announce the joint acquisition of the Dockland’s premier commercial site.

“This development represents Cbus Property’s third major successive commercial development in Melbourne, having completed 8 Exhibition Street in 2005 (45,000 square metres) and CBW at the corner of Bourke and William Streets (75,000 square metres) which is approaching completion,” Mr Pozzo said EPC Partners founder and Managing Director, Mr Patrick Smith, who initiated and co-ordinated the consortium bid said EPC was proud to be a partner in the Bourke Junction development and believed the consortium had the right blend of expertise to deliver a truly outstanding development for Docklands and Melbourne.

“Bourke Junction represents an important next step for both EPC and in the continued integration of Docklands with the CBD. We are excited to be involved in
this landmark project and, with our partners, intend to deliver a genuinely design focussed outcome which will be truly exciting for Docklands and all of Melbourne,” Mr Smith said.

Suncorp Executive General Manager, Corporate Real Estate, Mr Peter Affleck said location emerged as a key factor influencing the Group’s selection of the 740 Bourke Street site.

“Feedback from staff workshops indicated that access to a range of transport options and proximity to the CBD were important to our staff,” Mr Affleck said.

“Signage rights at the new premises will also provide us with an ideal opportunity to reinforce Suncorp’s national reach and Top 25 listed company status within Australia’s emerging premier financial services district.”

Mr Affleck said the move to Bourke Junction was also consistent with Suncorp’s national real estate strategy to consolidate its staff in environmentally sustainable, long term A-grade sites.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of