Wesley Place: regeneration though active partnershipright-arrow
read-time4 mins
by Charter Hall

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Wesley Place has become a new cultural landmark for Melbourne. Designed to transform the way people work, connect, and socialise, this commercial precinct aims to merge business with lifestyle.

Consisting of one Premium and two A-Grade commercial towers at 130, 140 and 150 Lonsdale Street, each tower offers diverse spaces and cutting-edge technologies to deliver a multitude of experiences and an authentic sense of place.

An innovative partnership with the Uniting Church

The project was undertaken in partnership with the Uniting Church. It included the restoration of five heritage buildings on the site (including the Wesley Church). In addition, we delivered a range of social and economic outcomes for the Church, including establishing a longterm maintenance fund for the Church and surrounding heritage buildings; providing the charity arm of the Church with a rent-free space in the Tower; and availing the Church of three levels of office accommodation at 20% below market rents and with a fully integrated fit out.

The approach to the development has enabled Wesley Place to retain its position as a historical and cultural sanctuary in the heart of Melbourne. Four of the five restored heritage buildings have been repurposed for amenity and wellness use.

We also created a heritage trail around the site, with an audio trail that covers Wesley Place’s great historical, architectural, and social significance. During the construction phase of Wesley Place, we established a community reference group to connect the project team with neighbouring residents, business owners, City Council, and community members. These sessions provided a forum for community members to be involved in the development approach.

The Wesley Place team also engaged a mix of Indigenous and local artists for eight art installations located around the precinct, creating a unique home for public art around the precinct.

A busy program of events

In FY21, Wesley Place hosted a series of community events, including a ‘Summer Series’ in the public realm which was designed to activate and invigorate the precinct through live music, lawn games, relaxation and healthy treats. The series ran for three consecutive weeks, each with a different theme.

We also partnered with City of Melbourne for Wesley Place to become one of only three CBD locations for their Melbourne Knowledge Week program. Knowledge Week is a weeklong, annual event which celebrates the ambitious innovators and problem solvers and allows our community to look into the future. The technology-infused and sustainable event provided a place where the public could gather to hear from speakers on a range of topics. It also included sculptures and art, seminars, and a market stall.

To acknowledge World Environment Day on 5 June, part of Wesley Place was transformed into a ‘Woodlands’ space featuring native trees and activations that showcased the commitment that Wesley Place, Charter Hall and our tenant customers have made to sustainability and the environment. In line with Wesley Place’s ethos, the event promoted sustainability, technology, ethics, futurism, health and wellbeing, entrepreneurship, innovation, creativity and design.

Other activities over FY21

  • A Christmas charity drive for charities aligned with our tenant customers.
  • A flower auction where the flowers within the foyer are auctioned off each week, and the money is gifted to a different charity each month.
  • Sales from the vending machines within the EOT facilities are passed on to a different charity each quarter.
  • Hosting 360 Year 7 students in March 2021 for a service and site tour. They had lunch within the green space, then toured the site and the heritage trail.

Wesley Place was an ideal venue for these activities as its planning, design, construction, and utilisation reflects much about Charter Hall’s ethos as to how ESG considerations should be embedded in such developments.

For us, Wesley Place is an expression of what we value and how we want to see future developments evolve - places that become focal points for culture, community, and social benefit.