FKP will commence construction on the third stage of its $1.1 billion Gasworks development at Newstead in Brisbane mid-year, after receiving approval for the 13-level commercial building from Brisbane City Council.
The $180 million stage, known as Gasometer 2, will comprise 23,400sqm of commercial space, which is already 53 per cent leased, with Bank of Queensland (BOQ) committing to 12,500sqm for its new headquarters.
A further 1000sqm of retail, of which 50 per cent is leased, and a 6,000sqm public plaza, surrounding the historic Gasometer frame, will also be developed as part of the stage, activating the precinct fronting Skyring Terrace and Longland Street.
FKP Executive Director Mark Jewell said Brisbane City Council’s approval paved the way for construction to start and FKP wanted to get on with the job of delivering the landmark project as quickly as possible.
“We are planning to begin earthworks around mid-June, with full building works to get underway later this year,” he said.
“With 53 per cent of the building already leased, we’re in the perfect position to start construction, and we’re confident in the strength of the Brisbane commercial office market going forward.
“Vacancy rates have continued to decline over the past two years and we’re seeing a growing trend of big businesses looking for quality commercial space outside the CBD.”
Mr Jewell said Gasometer 2 was anticipated to be completed by July 2014, and would inject much needed A-grade space into the near city market.
BOQ Managing Director and CEO Stuart Grimshaw said he was pleased to learn of the milestone and paid tribute to the team at FKP.
“One of the reasons we chose this site was that FKP was willing to work with us to accommodate the needs of our business.
“This project is an exciting one for BOQ because it’s not just about a new office, but part of a broader cultural change and repositioning for the bank,” he said.
FKP is already underway with construction of the second stage of Gasworks, Gasometer 1, which will feature 8000sqm of retail space and 9,100sqm of A-grade office accommodation across four levels, due to open in early 2013.
A range of retailers have already committed to the precinct, including Woolworths, Terry White Chemists and a fresh food precinct to be named Skyring Terrace Markets.
Stage one of Gasworks features the 33,000sqm headquarters of energy provider, Energex, which was completed in December 2010.
“We’re targeting finance and mining companies in particular for the balance of the commercial space in the next stages,” said Mr Jewell.
“These businesses are looking for large campus style accommodation that provides unrestricted floor spaces to promote increased flexibility of layouts and worker interaction – and that’s what we have on offer.
“Floor plates in the available stages at Gasworks range up to 2,170sqm of net lettable area. That’s something not a lot of other commercial buildings planned or underway in Brisbane can provide.”
Mr Jewell said large companies were also increasingly looking for an environment that would help to attract and retain staff, and being part of a masterplanned development was appealing.
“Gasworks doesn’t just offer commercial space, what we’re creating here is a whole new community,” he said.
“The precinct will feature a range of retailers, from essential services through to cafes and restaurants, and a significant public open plaza, so staff will have a place to unwind outside of their work hours.
“We’ve also included generous parking provisions, and the precinct is well serviced by public transport, so it really does tick all the boxes.”
The entire masterplan will be rolled out over the next decade and, on completion, include seven buildings featuring a total of 20,000sqm of retail, 60,000sqm of commercial and about 900 residential apartments.