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    Geelong Advertiser | First look inside $100m new GMHBA headquarters

    Geelong Advertiser | July 17 2021 | Peter Farago

    Workers have started to move into Geelong’s newest office building, the $100m headquarters for health insurer GMHBA. TAKE A LOOK INSIDE.

    GMHBA CEO David Greig, left, chief financial officer Wes Self, right, with Shane Quinn, executive chairman of Quintessential Equity. Picture: Alan Barber
     

    GMHBA CEO David Greig, left, chief financial officer Wes Self, right, with Shane Quinn, executive chairman of Quintessential Equity. Picture: Alan Barber

    GMHBA staff have had their first chance to take up their sit-stand desks in Geelong health insurer new headquarters.

    The milestone marks the first people to move in to the nine-floor office building at 60 Moorabool St, Geelong, although it’s been temporarily halted by the snap lockdown.

    The $100 million building offers all the amenities now considered gold standard for A-grade office buildings in Geelong, such as end-of-trip facilities boasting 78 bike spaces, 15 showers and 96 exclusive lockers.

    Kane Constructions recently completed the city’s newest office building. Picture: Alan Barber
    Kane Constructions recently completed the city’s newest office building. Picture: Alan Barber

    Disability service provider Gen-U is providing various services, including laundering towels in the end-of-trip facilities.

    There are 61 car park spaces over two basement levels, plus charging points for electric vehicles and scooters.

    GMHBA’s stylish new entrance and meeting rooms. Picture: Alan Barber
    GMHBA’s stylish new entrance and meeting rooms. Picture: Alan Barber
    A bit of history on display. Picture: Alan Barber
    A bit of history on display. Picture: Alan Barber

    GMHBA’s head office takes up levels one to three, with three more commercial office floors above.

    Within the GMHBA head office, each level offers kitchen facilities, collaborative and breakout spaces, meeting rooms and areas to admire the view.

    The main kitchen and dining space opens to a podium area with picnic tables above Moorabool St, while other amenities include a parents’ room and a reflection room.

    The lunch room spreads inside and out to the balcony. Picture: Alan Barber 

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    The office overlooks Moorabool St. Picture: Alan Barber

    The lunch room and office overlooks Moorabool St. Picture: Alan Barber
    Level one. Picture: Alan Barber
    Level one. Picture: Alan Barber

    The corporate reception area makes a nod to GMHBA’s genesis as a hospital fund for cement workers, with a polished concrete floor and a row of pillars representing the silos that once stood above Fyansford.

    Morris Finance will occupy the top (seventh) floor, which boasts the best panoramic views of central Geelong and Corio Bay. Office space is available for lease. The building will be home to 900 workers.

    Ground floor commercial space will include a cafe at the corner of Corio St, while a local Indigenous artwork has been commissioned for the main foyer.

    More social spaces between office levels. Picture: Alan Barber
    More social spaces between office levels. Picture: Alan Barber
    Stairs connect each level within the GMHBA office. Picture: Alan Barber
    Stairs connect each level within the GMHBA office. Picture: Alan Barber

    GMHBA chief executive David Greig said he’s already seen to benefits of creating office space that promotes collaborative work.

    “We wanted to achieve a modern workspace that will foster collaboration, that serves as a place where people can work socially and reflect a way that people will work in the future,” he said.

    “We wanted to make a statement about our commitment to Geelong and we wanted it to be a sound investment for our members.

    One of several breakout spaces. Picture: Alan Barber
    One of several breakout spaces. Picture: Alan Barber

    “So Wes (chief financial officer Wes Self) and the Quintessential Equity guys have done a great job in turning this building into an investment, which is actually creating a whole lot of member value, which we can invest for our members.”

    A blended work arrangement was in mind before the Covid-19 pandemic hit Australia.

    Mr Greig said the project injected $50 million into the local economy.

    The underground end of trip facilities. Picture: Alan Barber
    The underground end of trip facilities. Picture: Alan Barber
    David Greig, Shane Quinn and Wes Self in the ground floor entry to the building. Picture: Alan Barber
    David Greig, Shane Quinn and Wes Self in the ground floor entry to the building. Picture: Alan Barber

    “Sixty per cent of the spend in this building has been on local suppliers, whether that’s been plumbers, sparkies, artists, carpet. Every dollar we can, we spend locally.”

    Quintessential Equity executive chairman Shane Quinn said the project would help GMHBA secure and retain the best talent in Geelong.

    “GMHBA has done an amazing job to be able to balance extracting value out of their land, becoming a tenant and then also making sure they didn’t forego the developer margin.”

    Builder Kane Constructions and COX Architecture partnered with Quintessential and GMHBA to deliver the project.

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