VCAT downsizes HQ, keeps landlord

The Argus Building (corner) and Argus Centre.

Fulfilling a leasing requirement issued nearly four years ago – but for 30 per cent less area – the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal has found a replacement headquarters.

The government authority will move to 14,000 square metres of A-grade space at 300 La Trobe Street, also known as the Argus Centre.

Charter Hall is the landlord; with the 20 year deal, it can raze VCAT’s outgoing headquarters, 55 King St, as part of plans for a $1.6 billion two tower office project also incorporating 555 Collins St, being delivered with GIC.

The La Trobe St space will now be fit out; completion is scheduled next June.

Cushman & Wakefield and JLL are the agents.

VCAT presence may add another block to legal precinct

Developed 30 years ago, the Argus Centre contains c33,500 sqm over 34 floors; Telstra has occupied about 70pc since 2010.

The tower is beside Shesh Ghale’s c1926 Argus Building, home to a newspaper of the same name which ceased in 1957 (story continues below).

The proposed VCAT entrance at 300 La Trobe Street.

The properties are in the Flagstaff precinct on a block diagonally adjacent to the legal precinct, where VCAT initially sought 20,000 sqm.

VCAT’s outgoing headquarters, being replaced with a $1.6 billion project.

Charter Hall’s fit out will meet many of the other prerequisites including two separate secure entrances, traditional and ancillary offices, a ground floor concierge, basement car parking and end of trip facilities.

The asset will be held by the Charter Hall Office Trust, a wholesale partnership.

“We are pleased to be partnering to deliver a workplace that meets the unique needs of VCAT’s people, as well as those supported by its important work,” Charter Hall Office chief executive officer, Carmel Hourigan, said.

“Further, the whole of building upgrades will support our sustainability objectives, as well as those of our tenant customers, and underpin the strength of the portfolio,” she added.

VCAT also leases suburban locations including, in 2019, a 1050 sqm Oakleigh space.

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Marc Pallisco

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