Towers talk for the city
DEVELOPMENT groups are lining up to build the next generation of office towers in Townsville as big private companies and State Government entities chase deals for top-grade, green star-rated office space.
The current thinking is that there is enough demand to build two towers worth $ 100 million.
The developer of the planned 12-level Verde project at 4 4 5 Fl i nders St , Stephen Go sling, said Townsville was desperate for office space and that the conditions following the global financial crisis, which put the brakes on development, were thawing.
‘ ‘ Since Christmas the phones have started ringing,’’ he said.
‘‘ There are enough names in the marketplace to fill our building twice.’’
Electricity retailer Ergon Energy has called tenders for a consultant to help the organisation source about 6800sq m of new office space, while Premier Anna Bligh revealed late last year the government was investigating the feasibility of building more government office space in the CBD.
Labor MP for Townsville Mandy Johnstone yesterday supported the government plans. She said the government was in discussions with the Townsville council about the options.
There are also large private companies seeking quality space to present a more professional outlook to customers and staff and take advantage of lower construction costs and activity.
The list of potential sites is diverse. In the CBD, apart from Verde, sites include Honeycombes’ Central rail- wayland, Laurence Lancini’s and Mark Adams’ former T& G building property in Stanley St and a former Hedley site in Walker St controlled by Chinese investor Ming Kong Chan.
Other possibilities include the Austexx-Lancini Flinders St properties, investor Bill Spee’s former Buchanan Hotel site in Sturt St and the Cowboys Leagues Club site in Flinders St.
Even the current administration site of the Townsville Bullet in site has been suggested as an option.
There is also a long list of potential sites in the suburbs, however, city leaders are adamant the CBD must be reinvigorated.
CBD Taskforce chairman Craig Stack said development of major offices should be sited in the inner-city to support commerce and population growth in the CBD.
A 12-level tower like Verde could host a workforce of about 1000 people.
GOING UP: demand for top-grade office space is fuelling speculation