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Northbank Plaza 95pc leased after Parsons Brinckerhoff signing

12/01/2007

Charter Hall Group today announced its landmark $180 million Northbank Plaza redevelopment in Brisbane is close to 95 per cent leased following a pre-commitment from Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB) to become a substantial new tenant in the building.

PB, one of the world's leading planning, environmental, engineering and program and project management firms, has signed an agreement to lease levels one through five, occupying approximately 5,800 square metres. The firm is scheduled to take up occupancy in the CBD building before the end of 2007 for an eight-year term.

The deal follows Brisbane's largest ever pre-commitment for leased office space in December when Telstra entered into a 10-year agreement over a combined 50,000 square metres in Northbank Plaza and the adjoining 275 George Street.

Refurbishment of Northbank Plaza is expected to commence in February.

"As most people know prime office space is in short supply in Brisbane at the moment," said Roy Wade, PB state operations executive. "After the refurbishment, Northbank Plaza will provide us with a larger floor plate and a 4 star ABGR rated building which compliments PB's environmental values.

"The building's CBD location will benefit many of our clients and for our staff it is close to retail and public transport," Mr Wade said.

New York-based PB employs more than 10,000 people worldwide including 1,000 in Australia. Some of the projects PB is involved in Australia include the North South By-pass Tunnel project in Brisbane, the Charlton North Industrial Estate west of Brisbane, the Epping to Chatswood rail line in Sydney and Eastlink in Victoria.

The Northbank Plaza redevelopment is a joint venture between Charter Hall-managed wholesale funds Charter Hall Core Plus Office Fund and Charter Hall Opportunity Fund No.4.

"The pre-commitment agreement with PB is a great result for Charter Hall and the wholesale investors in both of the Charter Hall managed funds," said David Southon, Charter Hall joint managing director. "The recent signing of bluechip companies such as PB and Telstra is a real show of confidence by the market in the quality of the product we are delivering at Northbank Plaza.

"With only the top floor still available we expect to have the building fully leased prior to completion of the works," Mr Southon said.

Refurbishment of the 23-storey Northbank Plaza is scheduled for completion in the second quarter of 2008. The work will raise the existing 26,000-square-metre building to A-Grade standard and will include upgrades to base building services, new finishes on office levels including carpets, ceilings, lighting and amenities.