Charter Hall reveals tower project plans for Roma Street renewal in Brisbane

Charter Hall reveals tower project plans for Roma Street renewal in Brisbane

Charter Hall Group (ASX: CHC) has acquired a strategic riverfront site in the heart of Brisbane with two options on the table for commercial developments, located near Roma Street Station and overlooking the William Jolly Bridge that connects to South Bank.

The company announced today it has partnered with global real estate investor QuadReal to acquire one of the largest remaining Brisbane CBD development sites at 309 North Quay for an undisclosed sum.

Charter Hall has taken a flexible approach and lodged two development applications (DAs) for the 6,400sqm infill site with the Brisbane City Council, with one DA including a single 50,000sqm commercial tower and the other contemplating two smaller commercial towers of 23,000sqm and 36,000sqm each.

The developer hopes both DAs will be approved, and then it will be in a position to decide which will go ahead based on commitments received. 

The group claims the project will act as a catalyst for urban renewal of the surrounding sites such as Brisbane's new 'Grand Central Station' made possible with Cross River Rail, strategically positioned at the previous long-term home of radio stations Triple M and B105.

"309 North Quay represented a unique opportunity to contribute to the revitalisation of the Roma Street precinct, which will be transformed by transport and infrastructure upgrades that are underway or planned," says Charter Hall's regional development director Bradley Norris.

"Continued investment from the Queensland Government and Brisbane City Council in this area of the CBD, particularly in key city-shaping projects including Cross River Rail and Brisbane Metro, will see Roma Street transform and we are excited to play a part with the development of 309 North Quay.

"While our initial priority will be the development of the first single tower, we have made the decision to lodge a separate DA for the two tower schemes at the same time, to provide ultimate flexibility in managing occupant requirements."

The single tower scheme provides an opportunity for large, campus-size floor plates of over 2,700sqm within the CBD, with a 1,550sqm outdoor garden terrace at the top of the podium available for use by all tenants within the building, which features meeting areas, function spaces and recreational opportunities with expansive river views.

The outdoor space will deliver on the design ethos of providing a people-friendly building, which embraces the natural environment to enhance productivity and wellbeing of its occupants.

The two tower scheme, which can be developed via a staged approach, would benefit from a large central public space conceived as a canopied, wide pedestrian laneway of cafes and pop-up venues.

This acquisition further extends the Charter Hall and QuadReal partnership following the $630 million acquisition of 201 Elizabeth Street, Sydney in 2019, which was also followed by two flexible DA submissions for a single-tower or two-tower development.

Charter Hall managing director and group CEO David Harrison says the group is delighted to extend the relationship with QuadReal, one of Canada's largest property groups.

"QuadReal is experienced in real estate development, and this partnership reflects the deep investor customer relationships we have across our platform," Harrison says.

"Australia remains a key focus for QuadReal, and the North Quay investment is a direct product of the long-term strategic relationship we have with Charter Hall in that market," adds QuadReal head of Asia, Peter Kim.

"Urban renewal is a theme we embrace and support throughout the world; and this recent acquisition, which increases the size of our global office portfolio to about 34 million sqm, reflects QuadReal's strong conviction around improving the communities in which we invest."

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