Developers Confident in Brisbane Fringe Office Market

Brisbane-based group Empirica Developments has lodged plans for a $55 million office tower in the city’s fringe suburb of Fortitude Valley.

The project, located at 95 Robertson Street, has existing development approval for a 9-storey residential but will now change course with a new office scheme designed by architecture firm Fender Katsalidis.

Empirica, along with a private investor, purchased a part share in the site earlier this year for $3 million, moving to redevelop the 1,100sq m site after securing childcare pre-commitment for the project’s lower levels.

The building’s first two levels will be anchored by a national childcare operator for an initial term of 20 years. Empirica did not disclose the identity of the operator.

“The building’s location within the James Street Precinct has positioned us to capture downsizing businesses and those looking to relocate from the CBD following the pandemic,” Empirica director Chris Volk told The Urban Developer.

Developers Confident in Brisbane Fringe Office Market (2)

The building will comprise floorplates ranging up to 1,650sq m and feature hygiene-centric amenities such as contactless access, three lift cores, end of trip facilities as well as a hospital grade anti-pathogen system to ventilate office space.

Empirica, which also has a $30 million Maroochydore apartment project in the pipeline as well as a land subdivision in Coomera, said its Valley development, if approved, would target a completion date of late-2022.

The Robertson Street proposal follows a recent wave of submissions and projects within the city’s fringe pushing ahead with their respective development phases.

Nearby, Cornerstone is pushing ahead with a 28-storey commercial project at 251 Wickham Street, to be designed by Bureau Proberts, putting plans forward last month.

Meanwhile, Sekisui House Australia has lodged plans for an eight-storey, subtropical-inspired office building at 111 Boundary Street in West End, to be marked for completion in May 2021 alongside the retail hub of its West Village masterplan.

Boutique fund manager Alceon has lodged plans for a $200 million mixed-use development on the site of the 10-storey Tatts Group office tower in Brisbane’s inner north.

The project, located at 240 Sandgate Road in Albion, will see the existing four decade-old building retained and redeveloped, as well the addition of two new mid-rise towers designed by Cox Architecture and Arkhefield.

In Bowen Hills, Brisbane-based developer Gansons is planning a four tower medical precinct and business park while Barber Property Group has lodged plans for a “sub-tropical” 15 storey private medical facility and hotel at 375 Wickham Terrace in Spring Hill.

Across the first half of the year Brisbane’s fringe office vacancies ticked up to 14.2 per cent from 13.6 per cent, driven by the supply of new stock on the market.




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