Construction commences at landmark Geelong Civic Precinct
MEDIA RELEASE | AUGUST 2020
The soil has been turned at the new Geelong Civic Precinct, marking the start of construction for the city-shaping project, developed by diversified property group Quintessential Equity for the City of Greater Geelong.
Located at 137 Mercer St, the $220 million Civic Precinct – set to create a central office for the City of Greater Geelong’s central Geelong-based workforce, a separate office building owned by Quintessential Equity, as well as a 2,600 square metre public precinct – is one of the region’s largest development projects.
Construction has commenced this week after the Cox Architecture-designed project received the green light at the end of June from the Victorian Government Minister for Planning, and was recognised by the Building Victoria’s Recovery Taskforce as a key regional project to support job creation and stimulate the economy following the impact of COVID-19.
Builder Watpac has been appointed to deliver the major project, with a target set for a minimum 60 per cent local procurement which will create approximately 900 jobs for businesses and suppliers in the region. Completion is slated for mid-2022.
“As we officially commence work on the project’s build, we recognise this milestone in the development of Geelong and the start of the region’s post-pandemic recovery,” says Shane Quinn, executive director of Quintessential Equity.
“The precinct is a key, shovel-ready revitalisation project for the region, and we are delighted to be able to commence construction so quickly. By creating on the ground opportunities at every possible stage of the project lifecycle it will help to stimulate growth and deliver economic and social benefits to the region, for now and into the future. Never has that been more important.”
Economic modelling by the City of Greater Geelong estimates that the project will:
- Inject $4 million of direct and indirect revenue into the local economy annually;
- Contribute $109.8 million to value-added or Gross Regional Product annually;
- Generate a value-added multiplier of 3.0, meaning that for every dollar of value-added created, another $2.00 would be created elsewhere in the local Geelong economy.
“Despite the ongoing impacts of COVID-19, we’re still delivering our program as scheduled. We are fully committed to our partners, builders, consultants and the community,” adds Quinn.
According to a new Property Council of Australia report, precinct development has a significant economic multiplier, with research by SGS Economics and Planning showing that a mixed-use precinct plan increases employment opportunities by an average of 14 per cent.
Cressida Wall, Victoria executive director at Property Council of Australia, says that streamlined precinct planning is critical to unlocking billions of dollars of investment and creating thousands of jobs.
“The next phase of Victoria’s development cycle cannot just be business as usual. It needs big ideas and policy settings that drive innovation. Regional precincts, such as the Geelong Civic Precinct, will create opportunities for jobs, drive residential development, and support robust regional growth,” says Wall.
Three local Geelong businesses – Perry Demolition, Draper’s Civil Contracting and Norris Construction Group – have been appointed to complete the demolition, excavation and civil works on-site. The development team is in discussions with more local businesses to be involved in the next stages of the project’s construction.
“It’s great to see local businesses leading the way as construction of our new Civic Precinct kicks off. This significant investment in our local economy will create jobs and opportunities for our community at a time when we need it most, while establishing a sustainable, efficient and collaborative future workplace for the City,” says City of Greater Geelong chief executive officer Martin Cutter.
“The Civic Precinct has been envisioned as a place to benefit our whole community and will include welcoming public spaces and access to City services while celebrating our clever and creative community-led vision and UNESCO City of Design designation.”
The new precinct features the highest sustainability credentials, with a target 6-Star Green Star design and as-built rating and target 5 Star NABERS Energy rating for peak efficient energy, waste and water usage.
Extending its track record in Geelong, Quintessential Equity’s work includes the $145 million headquarters for WorkSafe at 1 Malop Street. The developer is also on track of its construction schedule at 60 Moorabool Street – a new $100 million office building which has been pre-leased to health insurer GMHBA as the anchor tenant.
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About Quintessential Equity
Quintessential Equity is a diversified commercial property group that provides wholesale investors with sound, risk-mitigated, syndicated property opportunities. The company focuses on commercial office and industrial investment and development properties.