Charter Hall secures 12-year lease to AFCA at Wesley Place, Melbourne CBD
Charter Hall Group (Charter Hall or the Group) today confirmed that its $4.5 billion wholesale fund, the Charter Hall Prime Office Fund (CPOF) has secured the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) as a major tenant customer at the $700 million Wesley Place development, located at 130 Lonsdale Street in Melbourne’s CBD.
AFCA came into force as of 1 November 2018 following a merge of the former Financial Ombudsman Services, Superannuation Complaints Tribunal and Credit and Investments Ombudsman.
”AFCA is a new organisation providing consumers and small business owners with fair, free and independent solutions to their financial disputes. Our new premises at Wesley Place will enable our Melbourne staff to deliver a high quality and flexible service,” said CEO and Chief Ombudsman of AFCA, David Locke. “We are very excited about this move and value our relationship with Charter Hall. We believe the Wesley Place development will be a great one for our customers, members and our people.”
The new 12-year lease commencing in July 2020, in line with practical completion, covers approximately 7,600sqm across Skyrise Levels 24-27, taking the new office tower’s committed Net Lettable Area (NLA) to approximately 78%.
Wesley Place is located at the eastern end of Melbourne’s CBD, and according to JLL is one of the most tightly held office precincts with a vacancy rate of 1.6% and limited new development supply in the medium term. The area is fast becoming the preferred location for major financial services organisations with ease of access to major transport and Melbourne’s entertainment and cultural precinct.
AFCA will join Vanguard, Telstra Super, Australia’s largest corporate superannuation fund, Cbus Super, one of Australia’s largest industry super funds along with Uniting Church in Australia at Wesley Place.
CPOF Fund Manager, Matthew Brown said: “Welcoming AFCA to the Wesley Place development is a great milestone and demonstrates the strong leasing momentum we have been able to create with approximately 78% of the asset secured. Upon completion, Wesley Place will further enhance CPOF’s portfolio quality and total return metrics and deliver our Fund Investors a coveted new Premium Grade office building in the tightly held Melbourne CBD core office precinct.
“This new lease demonstrates our approach to securing significant tenant pre-commitments to de-risk the approximately $1.3 billion of committed projects that we have underway nationally within our office funds management platform. The depth of our internal development capabilities, with experienced teams based in each major capital city means that we are able to collaborate with our tenant customers to deliver great workspace experiences as well as create institutional quality investment opportunities in the office sector,” he added.
Upon completion, Charter Hall’s funds total investment in the Wesley Place precinct, including the properties at 130, 140 and 150 Lonsdale Street are expected to rise to over $1.2 billion.
130 Lonsdale St will be a 35-storey, 55,000sqm Premium-Grade, tech-enabled workplace. The future- ready workspace is registered to pursue WELL certification and target 6-Star Green Star design, As-Built v1.1 and 5-Star NABERS ratings - aligning with the precinct’s vision for a sustainable legacy for the future.
130 Lonsdale will house one of the largest end-of-trip facilities in Melbourne along with a wellness centre, business hub and concierge services, integrated with Wesley Place’s world-class retail precinct. Its sculptural curve in shades of muted gold and bronze will be unique to Melbourne’s skyline, whilst The Manse building, nestled under the 130 Lonsdale structure itself, will deliver a distinct heritage character to the Premium Grade workspace.
The AFCA commitment leaves only the very best Skyrise floors available for lease, that include cascading terraces designed for outdoor team meetings, functions and social occasions, or can be used as a space for some fresh air during the day. In addition, the two-level foyer space is ideal to meet clients or host informal breakout meetings.
Charter Hall’s Regional Development Director, Simon Stockfeld commented on the development: “Our working and social lives are increasingly intertwined. That’s why we’re creating forward thinking workspaces, that are smart, agile and offer a diverse destination where both businesses and the wider public can use and enjoy the space.
“130 Lonsdale Street continues to offer opportunities to new customers to join major corporates AFCA, Vanguard, Telstra Super and CBUS in this location, with the ability to secure the best skyrise space available, four floors of which boast outdoor terrace areas.”
Tim Farley, National Director of Colliers International’s Tenant Advisory Team represented AFCA in their accommodation review and negotiation process.