The GPT Wholesale Office Fund (GWOF) announced today that it would take full ownership of 2 Southbank Boulevard Melbourne, after agreeing to purchase a 50 per cent interest for $326.2 million.
The Fund confirmed it had exchanged contracts on 50 per cent of 2 Southbank Boulevard after exercising its pre-emptive right to purchase the interest in the A-Grade office building from its co-owner Frasers Property Australia.
GWOF Fund Manager Martin Ritchie said he was delighted the Fund was presented the opportunity to increase its ownership from 50 to 100 per cent in an asset which has recently undergone a major refurbishment and successful leasing campaign.
“This transaction has provided GWOF a rare opportunity to take full ownership of a landmark 55,000sqm tower in one of Melbourne’s most highly sought after office precincts,” said Mr Ritchie.
“Following a refurbishment completed in 2018, 2 Southbank Boulevard now offers a market leading office lobby experience and increases the Fund’s exposure to one of Melbourne’s most vibrant business locations.”
“2 Southbank recently completed a very successful leasing campaign where 23,000 square metres of leases were signed with a diverse range of tenants who now occupy the 13 floors vacated by PwC in 2017.”
“Additionally, 11,000 square metres of tenants renewed their leases or expanded, including 2 Southbank Boulevard’s largest tenant, the energy transmission company AusNet Services, which renewed its lease until 2030”.
“There is further leasing opportunity in the upper levels of the tower in 2020, and the Fund expects to capitalise on the high levels of tenant demand and low vacancy rates to enhance returns to investors.”
New tenancy commitments at 2 Southbank Boulevard include the beverage company CUB, marketing services group WPP AUNZ, dairy company Saputo, contracting group Built, Microsoft and the GPT-owned flexible workspace provider Space&Co.
The building’s new lobby experience, designed by the leading architecture firm BVN, includes a comfortable hotel lobby vibe, a leading café operator, meeting, thinking and working spaces, a large LED art screen and a 10.6 metre by 3.4 metre artwork by Melbourne artist Ash Keating, along with an upgraded front entrance and lift cars.
2 Southbank Boulevard has a 6 Star Green Star Performance rating and 4.5 Star NABERS Rating, with recent sustainability initiatives in the building including the use of solar panels for water heating, installation of LED lighting and daily monitoring of energy and water consumption. GWOF has a target to achieve net zero carbon emission across its assets by the end of 2020.