GMHBA Ltd (GMHBA) has announced it has reached an in-principle agreement with Quintessential Equity to build a fit-for-purpose, modern head office on its current site in Moorabool Street, Geelong.
The announcement follows an extensive review of the organisation’s long-term accommodation requirements, which confirmed that GMHBA’s current head office building, which opened in 1963, is no longer suitable for a modern, agile business, and had reached the end of its useful life as an investment.
GMHBA Chairman, Mr Jim Walsh, said the project was a true milestone for GMHBA and a great development for Geelong.
“Rebuilding our head office is a strategic investment that will enable us to drive the innovation, efficiency and productivity required for our business to continue to deliver for our members,” he said.
“GMHBA has been part of the Geelong community since 1934 and the time is right for us to invest in a fit-for-purpose, modern building. The project also demonstrates our continuing commitment to Geelong and regional Victoria.”
It is expected the project will generate approximately 600 jobs for the city over the course of the development.
Mr Walsh said the building would be an asset for GMHBA and would offer future capital growth opportunities.
“As a majority equity stakeholder, this is a sound financial investment in a growing commercial real estate market. We believe this is a sensible application of our members’ funds and is expected to deliver an attractive economic return for their fund’s benefit,” he said.
Following a market tender process, the project will be delivered in partnership with Quintessential Equity, a highly successful diversified commercial property group with strong local experience.
Mr Shane Quinn, Executive Chairman of Quintessential Equity, said the group was honoured to be appointed as a development partner to help bring this premium building to life.
“Quintessential Equity highly values the opportunity to work with GMHBA, a long-established, proud and successful local business that has contributed to the strength and prosperity of Geelong for more than eighty years.
“We also appreciate the focus GMHBA has on the needs of their workforce in what is an evolving and increasingly dynamic office accommodation landscape.
“For Quintessential Equity it is paramount that we deliver an A-Grade office space that will help attract and retain the highest quality staff as well as increase efficiencies and productivity into the future. Given its enviable location and GMHBA’s vision for the site, the Moorabool Street project promises to deliver Geelong’s next iconic building.
“The project demonstrates Quintessential Equity’s commitment to Geelong, following the successful delivery of the WorkSafe Victoria headquarters project at 1 Malop Street.
“Helping reinvigorate central Geelong is a key business decision for us. The lifestyle is very attractive and the area is full of opportunity – it’s why Quintessential Equity looks to Geelong in our property acquisition strategy.”
Mr Walsh said the net lettable area would be approximately 10,000 square metres and that Quintessential Equity was in the process of attracting high-quality tenants to lease a significant part of the new space. GMHBA will initially occupy three of the building’s eight floors.
The building will also offer retail space, including to businesses that share GMHBA’s commitment to the health and wellbeing of the community.
Mr Walsh said GMHBA employees were currently working across three buildings in central Geelong, resulting in additional costs and operational inefficiencies associated with occupying multiple sites.
“This move will bring our employees together and provide an efficient, modern and collaborative workplace for them,” he said.
The project will be a signatory to G21’s GROW initiative, which aims to support local businesses and social enterprises to improve social and economic outcomes for the people of Geelong.
The rebuild project is expected to take approximately two years, with construction of GMHBA’s current head office premises to commence mid-late 2019. The site will also incorporate the building adjacent to GMHBA’s current head office, at 78 Moorabool Street.