The property arm of funds platform QIC has stepped up diversification of its Eastland shopping centre in Melbourne’s east, launching construction of a 14,000 square metre office tower there.
The six-storey tower is a key plank in a $200 million investment to further the mixed-use character of the landmark mall.
The initiative by QIC Global Real Estate comes as the owners of fortress malls around the country progressively diversify their vast retail holdings with additional uses, such as hotels, apartments and office towers.
The A-grade tower at Ringwood, to be known as EastCo, is fully pre-committed to the state’s department of transport.
The diversification follows a $700 million retail redevelopment at Eastland four years ago. After that project, QIC brought in Singapore-based hotel operator SilverNeedle to open a new 120-room Sage Hotel.
“The redevelopment of Eastland in 2016 catalysed a building boom in Maroondah, and we are now proud to be moving forward with the creation of a thriving business hub at the centre of this burgeoning region,” said Michael O’Brien, the managing director of QIC Global Real Estate.
Construction is due to be completed in early 2022. EastCo is expected to have a five-star NABERS Energy rating, with views from the upper levels stretching beyond Melbourne to the Yarra Valley.
Designed by architecture firm Fender Katsalidis, EastCo includes a glass facade, end-of-trip facilities and a double-height lobby.
The interior has been designed to incorporate COVID-19-safe working practices, with contact-tracing technologies and hands-free bathroom amenities.
Fender Katsalidis director Craig Baudin said the design would engage with the existing retail, pedestrian and transit areas at Eastland.
“The building will be a distinct fixture in the skyline with its sweeping curves. It will complement the existing buildings at the ground level while offering a more sculptural podium above,” he said.