Mirvac applies to build 31-storey office beside Melbourne’s historic Royal Mint

Mirvac has applied to build a 31-storey office on a site between Republic Tower and the historic former Royal Mint.

Mirvac has applied to replace Australian Federal Police’s long-time and low-rise Victorian headquarters – 383 La Trobe Street, near the former Royal Mint, in Melbourne’s CBD – with a 31-storey office.

Designed with terraces – a feature making its way into Australian commercial building proposals increasingly since last year – the tower will contain 44,000 square metres of A-grade space and large (up to 2400 sqm) floorplates.

Signage rights are expected to be available.

It will also include about 700 sqm of amenity with a lifestyle and wellness centre and retail off a new laneway connecting it to Sampson Lane and Little Lonsdale Street.

The 36-storey Republic Tower (centre) is next door to the seven-level AFP headquarters (right) which Mirvac intends to replace with a 31-floor office.

The office will capture north west-facing views to Flagstaff Gardens over the heritage listed Royal Mint block.

It will rob these vistas from the landmark Fender Katsalidis designed Republic Tower next door – one of Melbourne’s most important high-density residential buildings occupied over the years by a variety of the city’s wealthiest business identities, also featuring in many TV-fictions.

Mirvac paid $122 million for the seven-storey 10,200 sqm B-grade complex which will make way for its project.

The former Royal Mint with Republic Tower behind.

At the time, September, 2018, vendor Sterling Global was proposing the 2850 sqm site be replaced with a 70-storey hotel and apartment complex penned by revered French architect Jean Nouvel.

Given the scale of the new plan, approval rests – as it did for Sterling Global – with Victorian planning minister Richard Wynne.

If given a tick, the landlord could kick off construction from 2022.

“As with all of our commercial developments, 383 La Trobe Street offers the opportunity for future occupants to work closely with Mirvac to create the vision of the workplace environment and precinct we are bringing to life,” Mirvac head of Office and Industrial Campbell Hanan said.

“Through collaborating on the curation and design of the building, the aspirations of future occupants will be embraced”.

In recent weeks both the Victorian and NSW governments have indicated they would use public and private building projects as a way of stimulating the economy during what is expected to be a global recession.

“As we prepare for the recovery from COVID-19 we are firmly focused on advancing our development pipeline,” the Mirvac director said. “Progressing projects like 383 La Trobe Street through the planning stages will mean Mirvac can rebound as quickly as possible, as well as support the recovery of the wider community”.

Mirvac in Melbourne’s CBD

Elsewhere in Melbourne’s CBD Mirvac is constructing a 40-level office at its Olderfleet site at 477 Collins Street.

In January it spent $200 million on part of the former Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre at the south west corner of Flinders and Spencer streets, with intentions to replace it with a build-to-rent apartment project.

Six months earlier the builder and investor paid PDG Corporation $333.5 million on a funds through basis for a 38-floor tower near the city’s Queen Victoria Market earmarked with 490-build-to-rent units.

Also last year Mirvac completed construction of a high-end apartment building with Freemasons Victoria, The Eastbourne, on East Melbourne’s former Dallas Brooks Hall site.

AFP, meanwhile, has pre-committed for 30 years to a purpose-built 20-storey headquarters at 140 Lonsdale Street after being snared by Charter Hall, a significant federal and state government landlord.

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Last week, Charter Hall won approval to develop a $1.5 billion mixed-use complex with two Premium quality office towers, of 34 and 28 floors, on sites at 555 Collins Street and 55 King Street, in the city.

Dexus was also permitted to replace two parcels at the north east corner of Collins and Exhibition streets with a 26-level commercial building of the same quality.

Across the road, the landlord is completing a 35-storey Premium grade office on part of land which was for decades a forecourt to the 47-floor B-grade Nauru House, which it also owns.

Charter Hall and Dexus – like Mirvac – are headquartered in Sydney.

A 26,300 square metre office is also earmarked for 200-216 Albert Street, East Melbourne, after Singapore’s ARA Asset Management with Canadian institutional investor, QuadReal Property Group, acquired it on a funds through basis for $328 million in February.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and journalist, Marc is the publisher of realestatesource.com.au.

Marc Pallisco