The City of Greater Geelong has appointed Quintessential Equity to build what will be its next headquarters, at 137 Mercer Street.
The COX Architecture designed development will result in the council consolidated from seven locations including the waterfront office at 100 Brougham Street which was once home to failed investment house Pyramid.
Construction of the new council HQ is set to begin in mid-2020 and be complete two years later.
The design will feature cross-laminated timber (CLT).
About 43 per cent of building material will be sourced locally, the consortium said.
“The multi-building design of the new Civic Precinct includes a second commercial building to be funded completely by Quintessential Equity, creating sustainably designed, Property Council of Australia [classified] A-grade office space for an additional 900 full time works in central Geelong.
“The City is delivering the Civic Precinct without any increased cost to the ratepayer.
“In fact, once environmental and workplace efficiencies, increased rental returns, additional commercial rates and a reduced interest rate are factored in, the project will generate positive cashflow of $1.2 million per year,” the joint venture partners said in a statement.
Council will rent out the surplus office “until needed”.
The rental income will both repay the office construction, then generate revenue for the City.
“This is a forward-thinking and cost-effective alternative to purchasing or renting additional office space in 10-15 years as the organisation grows to meet the needs of Greater Geelong’s growing community.
“This additional cost, alongside the creation of 2600 square metres of active public space and leading environmental credentials which support the City’s commitment to moving to 100% renewable energy, takes the City’s contribution to the Civic Precinct to $102.5 million,” the consortium said.
The proposed Civic Precinct
The proposed project will contain two offices, of 11 and four storeys.
It is scoped to include 10,000 sqm of office space, 300 sqm of ground floor retail and 120 car parks.
Upon completion, it is expected to achieve a 6-Star Green Star rating, and 6-star NABERS Energy Rating.
City of Greater Geelong said it will now engage with the community about best to create an activated public space, as part of the 137 Mercer Street development.
Almost half (48 per cent) of the site will be for general use, surrounded by retail and co-working offices.
A direct connection to Johnstone Park and pedestrian access to Bayley Street forms part of the design.
Quintessential Equity and Geelong
Elsewhere in Geelong Quintessential Equtiy in 2017 completed construction an office for WorkSafe at 1 Malop Street.
It is also building the GMHBA’s headquarters at 60-78 Moorabool Street – due for completion in 2021.
“We are delighted to again be making an important contribution to the growth and transformation of Geelong’s community,” Quintessential Equity director Shane Quinn, said.
“This special project has all the hallmarks of what Quintessential Equity values from creating a world class sustainable building and precinct, which will embrace the unique lifestyle that Geelong has to offer combined with a workspace where the City of Greater Geelong employees and wider community can thrive and be proud of, reflective of one of Australia’s fastest growing urban areas.
COX Architecture design director Patrick Ness added that this project would serve as a catalyst to guide the development of Geelong for decades to come.
“It has the potential to create local jobs, support sustainable development and bring significant potential to grow and advanced CLT manufacturing in Geelong,” the architect added.
Quintessential Equity has partnered with local company Cross Laminated Offsite Solutions (CLOS) for the project.
CLOS has a manufacturing site at Avalon.