Verde back on track
THE developers of a proposed 12-storey office tower at 445 Flinders St say pentup demand for quality office space could see the project proceed this year.
The directors of Flinders Street Tower Pty Ltd, Brisbane developer Stephen Gosling and former Flight C e n t r e d i r e c t o r J i m Goldburg, were in the city this week talking to potent i a l t e nants a nd s t a keholders including the council, Townsville Chamber of Commerce and Townsville Enterprise.
‘‘ Townsville is desperate for high quality office acc o m m o d a t i o n a n d t h e trickles of interest from last year are now turning into a flood of inquires,’’ Mr Gosling said.
‘‘ Like everybody else we need a percentage of confirmed tenancies to allow us to start construction but we feel we are very close to achieving that goal.
‘‘ We are in serious discussions with a number of large private companies about leasing significant space.
‘‘ They realise it’s going to get pretty competitive soon for quality space and they see the benefits of making a move now.’’ The project, called Verde Townsville, was announced as the city’s first world-class sustainable office tower in 2008 with the
GREEN FEEL: An artist’s impression of the revived Verde complex group aiming for a 5-star green-star office design rating.
Knight Frank Townsville started a leasing campaign but the intervention of the g l o b a l f i n a n c i a l c r i s i s caused potential tenants and financiers to pull back.
Mr Gosling said financiers were now willing to play ball and tenants were looking to take up a position in quality space in the CBD.
Also, plans by state government agencies to take up new space and the council’s willingness to provide incentives was lifting confidence.
‘‘ The market is buzzing as potential suitors line up for the possibility of Ergon and the State Government tendering for new office space in the CBD,’’ he said.
‘‘ The council has been terrific in promoting the vitality of the CBD.
‘‘ With the completion of Flinders St ( redevelopment) and the potential for financial incentives for new projects, confidence has returned to the market.’’
Mr Gosling said Verde had development approval and was advanced in its disc u s s i o n s w i t h m a j o r builders.
He said completion would take 15 months from commencement.
‘‘ While we would have liked to have been up and running by now, a benefit of the delay has been the real reduction in construction costs, which are down at least 10 percent from 2008.
‘‘ Lower costs means we can pass on the benefits in lower leasing costs.’’
He said they would like to be on site half way through this year with completion in 2012.