AMP Capital secures BOQ lease in Sydney CBD

11 March 2021

AMP Capital today announced that Bank of Queensland Group (BOQ) has signed a lease for nearly 5,800 square metres over a 10-year term at landmark office building 255 George Street in Sydney.

Currently spread across two buildings in the Sydney CBD, this lease brings Bank of Queensland and Virgin Money Australia together under one roof for the first time.

AMP Capital Head of Real Estate Kylie O’Connor said: “We are delighted to be welcoming BOQ later this year to their new Sydney head office at 255 George Street. Alongside the 10,000 sqm recently signed by Corrs Chamber Westgarth at nearby Quay Quarter Tower, this deal indicates confidence in prime office space in the Sydney CBD and the importance of workplace accommodation for collaboration.

“Together, these leases provide a strong base for deals moving forward and are testament to the team’s commitment to delivering sustainable outcomes for investors and providing customer centric environments for businesses to thrive,” Ms O’Connor said.

BOQ Group’s Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer, Mr Ewen Stafford, said the move is part of the company’s ongoing growth and transformation agenda.

“In selecting the right space to bring our multi-brand teams together in the one location, we wanted a building that provided a market-leading level of amenities to our people.

“As more of our people return to the workplace, and with the pandemic changing the way we do business, we’re looking forward to collaborating in new ways and our future home at 255 George Street will purposefully serve our future workplace needs and allow us to prosper.

“The building’s leading sustainability credentials including a 5.5 Star NABERS rating, alongside cuttingedge technology, were also key factors in our decision to choose 255 George Street as our new Sydney home,” Mr Stafford said.

Owned by investors in the AMP Capital Wholesale Office Fund (AWOF), 255 George Street is undergoing a re-development including an architecturally reimagined lobby with a selection of work zones available to support flexibility as well as new end-of-trip facilities and wellness studio.

In the current environment, this lease demonstrates the appeal of quality commercial real estate and the enduring importance of the workplace for businesses.

BOQ has also secured signage rights for 255 George Street.

Our Views

UniSuper, Victorian Funds Management Corporation and Treasury Corp are believed to hold the cards for the future ofthe $7bn AWOF fund, which is being trawled over by Charter Hall, Dexus and Investa. AMP Capital are keen to ensure that it is still able to add value to the AWOF assets and today’s news is just that.

The pitch from the 3 contenders will be all about adding value where AMP Capital have not been able to. Investa will rely on its work with Oxford to break up the previous platform, keeping the quality assets and trading out of the non core assets. Dexus will speak up its credentials as a specialist office manager with strong ESG credentials, whilst Charter Hall will speak to their economies of scale. The truth is, all will do a good job and core assets managers starting afresh need only to re-think the asset strategy without a love affair with the properties themselves.

AMP Capital former real estate boss Carmel Hourigan who is now at Charter Hall may expect to have an inside edge, but the appointment will be less about relationships and more about lowest fees and quality of key staff.

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