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News release

GDI invests $50m in St Georges Terrace and Mill Street property upgrades and green-scaping project

December start to refurbish and re-Image 197 St Georges Tce, 1 and 5 Mill Street buildings

PERTH, 28 September 2011 – Perth’s iconic 197 St Georges Terrace (formerly Governor Stirling Tower) will undergo one of the CBD’s most expensive refits and repositioning programs with new owners, GDI Property Group, budgeting more than $50 million for the project. 
The program, including over 40,000 sqm of office space in three buildings is scheduled to commence in December this year and is expected to take up to 12 months to complete. It will see a comprehensive upgrade of all three buildings, foyers, lift services, air conditioning, building management, security systems and forecourt.
 All floors will be cleared of existing partitioning and upgraded with new carpets, energy efficient lighting and new ceilings. GDI will also undertake a substantial ‘green-scaping’ and retail upgrade of the entrance and existing walkway between the three buildings.
The property funds management company acquired the 8738sqm site for $152 million from the Commonwealth Office Property fund earlier this year. The site stretches from St Georges Terrace to Mounts Bay Road and offers spectacular river views.
Jones Lang LaSalle’s WA Head of Leasing, Nick Van Helden said GDI’s refurbishment program would significantly refresh the visual and practical amenity of Mill Street while providing strategically located A-Grade office accommodation in the Terrace’s prestigious western end.
Mr Van Helden said the upgrades were also designed to achieve a 4.5 NABERS rating.
GDI Asset Manager, Cameron Lockley said the development was one of the biggest of its kind undertaken in the CBD and would transform the significant site into a premium office location offering ergonomic and energy efficiencies, as well as a welcoming passive recreational space.
“Indicative of GDI’s approach will be the installation of new lifts with A-grade performance and finishes, travertine stone cladding to lift core, granite column cladding along with R10 stone/tiles flooring throughout the lobbies.
“Direct digital control building automation systems will also be installed to reduce energy costs while providing tenants with after hours and all-weekend operation, as well as detailed energy consumption information,” he said.
“GDI will invest several hundred thousand dollars in green-scraping the existing walkway between the towers resulting in quality vibrant amenity for tenants and the public.”
He said the area, which will become known as Mill Green, would unite all three buildings via a central grassed area featuring waterwise native plans and mature evergreen trees.
 “Mill Green will incorporate a high quality external sound system and will be bordered by a food court, restaurants, cafes and bars to create a lively and vibrant hub for workers to take time out in a natural oasis,” said Mr Lockley.
GDI’s planned upgrades herald a major leasing campaign which is now being undertaken by Jones Lang LaSalle and Knight Frank. The campaign aims to tenant 40,055sqm of office space comprising 26,552sqm in the Governor Stirling Tower, 6234sqm at 5 Mill Street and 7263sqm at 1 Mill Street.
Knight Frank State Director of Asset Services Ian Edwards said that tenants were lining up to lease multiple floors in the complex.
He announced that AMEC, one of the world’s leading engineering, project management and consultancy companies, had committed to some 7,500sqm of office accommodation in the low rise of 197 St Georges Terrace. 
He said that AMEC, which is currently located in three separate buildings in the CBD, saw this as an excellent opportunity to consolidate its offices and provide for expansion requirements in a fully refurbished building.  They were also impressed with the location which was close to their major resource sector clients.
“In light of the current constrained CBD office supply pipeline and the buildings’ location in the executive hub of the State’s resources sector, we are confident of negotiating a significant portion of the available space even before refurbishment commences,” he said.
Jones Lang LaSalle recently reported that Perth’s prime vacancy rate of 2.5 per cent meant that it now had the lowest CBD vacancy rate in Australia.
Mr Van Helden said there was a desperate need for quality space at the western end of St Georges Terrace while the development is well timed in view of continued forecast office demand.