Seek’s new $150 million Cremorne HQ given green light from VCAT

Listed online jobs board Seek is set to get its new $150 million headquarters in Cremorne, the fast growing tech-focused office market on the CBD fringe.

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal has approved the 19,300 square metre building, which Cremorne Properties is building for Seek at 60-88 Cremorne Street.

Seek is planning to move all its 900 staff into the new seven-level building, designed by Hassell, in 2020-2021. Head office at 541 St Kilda Road currently houses 800 employees.

The proposed building butts up against some of the precinct’s traditional terrace housing and was knocked back the City of Yarra because of height, overshadowing and “unreasonable visual bulk”.

VCAT found “the overall scale and massing is founded in the area’s physical character where large commercial/industrial built forms are juxtaposed with lower forms. It draws design cues from the important historical forms and character and adequately respects sensitive interfaces.”

The formerly industrial Cremorne area, close to three railway stations, trams and road networks, is between Hoddle, Church and Swan Streets and is undergoing a transformation into an office precinct.

Seek co-founder and chief executive Andrew Bassat said the delay at VCAT had not affected the timetable.

“We’re on track to meet our completion date,” Mr Bassat said.

The new building has been designed to accommodate future growth at Seek and provide the technology, workspaces and environment the tech company requires.

“Our people are our biggest asset and the investment we are making into the new building reflects the value we place on our people and our commitment to being a workplace of choice. The brand-new building will bring our people together and help us do our best work well into the future,” he said.

Cremorne is in hot demand amid a resurgence of interest in the city-fringe office market.

Last week, Bayley Stuart Capital paid $50 million for Icon Development’s un-built un-leased office building at 600 Church Street.

Plumbing supplies company Reece is moving into Zig Inge’s new seven-level office building above the old Rosella sauce factory on Balmain Street and MYOB is moving all its staff from the suburbs to Caydon’s new 8800 sq m building under the Nylex clock.

Just across the river, residential developer Goldfields has proposed a $300 million 24-storey A-grade office tower at 627 Chapel Street.

And further down Swan Street, Growthpoint is cashing in with a proposal to build two towers at the Botanicca business park where David Jones has shifted its entire workforce.

Source: SMH