5 Nov 2021

Cbus Property lodges new development application with Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning for $1 billion next-generation office tower at 435 Bourke Street, Melbourne


Leading Australian integrated property investor and developer, Cbus Property, has lodged a cutting-edge new Development Application (DA) with the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) for its $1 billion commercial tower at 435 Bourke Street in response to evolving workplace conditions in the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Architecturally designed by the multi-award-winning Bates Smart, the reinvigorated submission, to be known as 435 Bourke, will set a new benchmark for sustainable office development and design, being one of the first office towers in the world to feature a “solar skin” facade.

The DA is an evolution of the previously approved Bates Smart-designed tower, which was originally signed off by DELWP in January 2020. The new tower is proposed to comprise approximately 60,000 square metres of premium commercial office space across 48 levels, with 1,300 square metres of retail space, 116 car parks, a sky garden and several landscaped open-air or mixed-mode terraces.

Cbus Property’s Chief Executive Officer, Adrian Pozzo, said the business was pleased to be able to formally submit the modified development plans, which encompass four addresses on the corner of Bourke and Queen streets. The commercial precinct will amalgamate the recently demolished 140 and 150 Queen Street and 27 McKillop Street sites with the yet-to-be-demolished 423 Bourke Street site, and is anticipated to serve as a “vertical village” for more than 5,500 city workers.

“Our vision is to create another world-class commercial building that represents Cbus Property’s leadership in resilient and sustainable development, while enabling a diversity of experiences and working environments that respond and adapt to evolving workplace trends,” he said.

“With the onset of the pandemic, we were not content to rest on the laurels of our first DA and strove to future-proof the design of 435 Bourke to bring workers back to the city and respond to an ever-evolving Melbourne workforce with a greatly enhanced focus on sustainability, wellness, collaboration, connection to the public community, nature and productivity.

“Now that people are accustomed to working remotely and in informal settings, the sky garden, ground plane and mixed-mode terraces are key focuses of the new submission, providing diverse and naturally ventilated extensions of traditional workspaces, and contributing to this new idea of a vertical campus in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD with atrium-style physical and visual connectivity.”

Mr Pozzo went on to say that Melbourne’s commercial office market was expected to bounce back from the uncertainty of the pandemic, with more than 800,000 square metres of prime CBD office space due to expire between 2025 and 2026.

“Future work practices are expected to trigger a flight to new developments that are able to respond to shifting tenant needs calling for a holistic and collaborative work-life approach,” he said.

“435 Bourke will meet this demand as a truly state-of-the-art, world’s-best-practice office tower; a pioneer project for the city that will revitalise the centre of the Hoddle Grid precinct and take in 360-degree views across the Yarra River, Treasury and Fitzroy Gardens precinct and Port Phillip Bay from the top six levels.”

Bates Smart director, Cian Davis, said that 435 Bourke had been designed as “a diverse ecosystem of workspaces”.

“We know that the relationship between the work we do and where we do it has been forever transformed,” he said.

“We didn’t want to design a building that would be outdated by its completion. Instead, it will cater to any work setting and scenario, engage with its surroundings, be open to the neighbourhood at the ground, and achieve the best tall commercial tower performance in Australia. When it welcomes its first tenants, it will be Melbourne’s most flexible, sustainable and, frankly, human commercial building. It is architecture designed for the future, which is already here.”

In line with Cbus Property’s commitment to Net Zero Carbon, which was recently fast-tracked to early 2022, 435 Bourke is designed to achieve Net Zero Carbon in operation, with 20 per cent of its fully electric base building electricity requirements generated on site by its solar skin design. The balance of the building will be powered by off-site renewable electricity.

“The solar skin system is made up of translucent, vertical glass photovoltaic panels that will help generate 20 per cent of the base building power,” Mr Davis said.

“People working in the building will be able to look out the window and see where their energy comes from. This collected energy coupled with all-electric operations will help the tower save 430 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year. The building will also reduce its embodied carbon by 30 per cent through the use of finely tuned materials.”

435 Bourke is also targeting a 6 Star Green Star New Buildings rating and a Platinum WELL certified rating. Construction commencement is anticipated for 2022.

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