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GMHBA reveals plans to redevelop Geelong head office, generating 600 jobs

GEELONG ADVERTISER
TAMARA MCDONALD

GMHBA is set to build a multimillion-dollar, eight-storey new head office in Moorabool Street.

The modern, fit-for-purpose building will replace the health fund’s existing Moorabool Street office building, which opened in 1963. It will also incorporate the adjacent property at 78 Moorabool Street, currently home to several businesses.

The project is due to start in mid to late 2019 and will take about two years to complete. GMHBA says it will create about 600 jobs.

GHMBA has already completed a tender process, with Quintessential Equity – which owns and developed the WorkSafe headquarters – set to be awarded the building contract.

GMHBA chairman Jim Walsh said the project was a milestone for the firm and a great development for Geelong.

“Rebuilding our head ­office is a strategic investment that will enable us to drive the innovation, efficiency and productivity ­required for our business to continue to deliver for our members,” Mr Walsh said.

“GMHBA has been part of the Geelong community since 1934 and the time is right for us to invest in a fit-for-purpose, modern building. The project also demonstrates our continuing commitment to Geelong and regional Victoria.”


60-78 Moorabool St, where a new GMHBA eight-storey head office building is planned. Picture: Peter Ristevski

GMHBA currently has staff working across three sites in Geelong. About 150 of those are at the Moorabool Street head office and branch.

“It is expected that staff currently at our head office will move to one of two interim premises that have been secured at 49 Malop Street and 10 Moorabool Street,” a spokeswoman said.

“A suitable location for our branch, that is accessible and convenient for our customers, is still being sourced.”

Once completed the new 40 metre tall building is complete, GMHBA will occupy levels one, two and three, with the remaining floors to be leased by other tenants. The building will also offer retail spaces. All of GMHBA’s Geelong staff will work from the new head quarters. He said the building would be an asset for GMHBA and would offer future capital growth opportunities.

“As a majority equity stakeholder, this is a sound financial investment in a growing commercial real ­estate market. We believe this is a sensible application of our members’ funds and is ­expected to deliver an ­attrac­tive economic return for their fund’s benefit,” he said.

A planning permit application for the development was lodged with the Department of the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning yesterday.

GMHBA expects to be able to move into the new head office premises in early 2021.

Multiple tenancies with a total of about 10,000 square metres will be available for lease.

News of the head office rebuild comes after an “extensive review” of GMHBA’s long term accommodation requirements revealed its current head office building “is no longer suitable for a modern, agile business, and had reached the end of its useful life as an investment”.

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