Melbourne’s next mini city to rise at Caribbean Park
Melbourne’s next mini city to rise at Caribbean Park
21 October 2014
Melbourne, 22 October 2014 –A new era is dawning for Melbourne’s Caribbean Park as the first two of more than 40 proposed office buildings take shape.
Private owner the Spooner family purchased the 180ha Caribbean Park site during World War II and have since progressively developed more than 200,000sqm of high quality logistics facilities as well as the iconic Caribbean Market.
Office tenants are the next target under a comprehensive masterplan that will see over 230,000sqm of office space developed over time - transforming the suburb sized site into a new mini city in Melbourne’s south east.
The first of the proposed office complexes, situated at 35 Dalmore Drive, is being developed on a speculative basis - highlighting the family’s confidence in the future of the precinct.
Ben Spooner - grandson of Caribbean Park founder Archie Spooner - said the intention was to provide a new generation workplace, set in expansive parklands less than 30 minutes’ drive from the CBD.
Three generations of the Spooner family have been involved in Caribbean Park. Following the original site acquisition, Archie Spooner’s son, Rod, was the mastermind behind transforming what was originally farm land with the development of around 25 high quality industrial buildings. Grandson Ben has been involved with Caribbean for the past 13 years, overseeing the construction of a further 10 industrial facilities.
In the next incarnation for the park, Ben is guiding a shift in focus to develop up to 235,000sqm of proposed office space around a prominent man-made lake, originally built in the 1960s to test boats built in the family’s Caribbean Boat Factory. At 80 acres in size, the lake will eventually become the centrepiece of the precinct.
“The office space will be situated in a Wi-Fi enabled park land, providing opportunities for tenants to take their meetings outside and be in a workplace that encourages increased efficiency,” Ben Spooner said.
“The intention is to provide an inviting, inspiring place to work that will be a refuge from the city and evolve over time to be one of Melbourne’s premier office precincts. The parkland setting will be a real differentiator, providing a level of amenity not presently available in other city or suburban office precincts with an average of 55sqm of green space per person.”
Award winning landscape architects OCULUS have designed the network of public spaces, streets, promenades and pedestrian links that will give life to the new precinct, which will incorporate three times as much green space as the Melbourne Botanical Gardens. Some 8,000 trees have already been planted with a further 2000 due to be planted by 2016.
“Everything has been considered to promote good health and increased efficiency,” Ben Spooner said.
“We want to provide a connected, green network where people can conduct outdoor meetings and walk, run or ride at lunch, with end of trip facilities back at the office. More and more, we are seeing interest for office space that not only provides flexibility but meets green efficiency standards, enhancing a business’ sustainability imprint.”
CBRE’s Ari Petrovs, Elise Betts and Gianni McDonald have been appointed to steer the leasing campaign for the first of the proposed Caribbean Park office buildings. The twin-building, 16,000sqm complex will be completed by the third quarter of 2015.
Mr Petrovs said there had already been strong preliminary tenant interest from a range of occupier groups.
The Spooner family will fully fund and retain the new building as they have with the various logistics assets that have been developed to accommodate blue chip tenants such as Wesfarmers, Target, AGFA, Hallmark, Russell Athletic, Random House and Thermo Fisher. A testament to the quality of those industrial facilities is a retention rate since the park’s inception of around 85%, with some tenants having been at the park for some 25 years.
“The family fund, develop, build, manage and own all the assets at Caribbean and do so with enormous pride,” Mr Petrovs said.
“The maintenance of the park is nothing short of outstanding, with unprecedented attention to detail in all facets of asset and grounds maintenance and management.”
Ben Spooner added: “We take pride in maintaining the existing and overall management of the park. I also believe our tenants appreciate this aspect and knowing they can deal and have direct contact with the family for anything they require.
This same philosophy is being applied to the new office precinct - a visionary destination that will provide a unique work/park balance for future office tenants.
Mr Petrovs said; “The Spooner family searched globally to determine best practice and identify examples of thriving suburban or decentralised office precincts offering an amenity equal to or greater than their CBD counterparts. This has provided the inspiration for the Caribbean Park office community, which will eventually cater to over 20,000 workers.”
Jacobs Architects have designed the new workplaces at Caribbean Park, which have been designed to achieve minimum 5 Greenstar and NABERS ratings.
The large, flexible floorplates of 1,940sqm with an offset core can accommodate up to four tenants and can also offer connections between floors, as well as multiple touchdown spaces and collaborative workplace settings.
Also planned is a makeover of the park’s iconic produce markets, which opened in 1976. The markets have since grown to incorporate over 1,000 stalls, which attract thousands of visitors every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.
Mr Petrovs said the Caribbean site benefitted from a direct access ramp onto the EastLink motorway along with generous onsite parking, both of which would be drawcards for tenants. Proposed future facilities include a 10,000+ space car park, over 1,000 bike racks, an onsite child care centre and a gym.
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CBRE Group, Inc. (NYSE:CBG), a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company headquartered in Los Angeles, is the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm (in terms of 2013 revenue). The Company has approximately 44,000 employees (excluding affiliates), and serves real estate owners, investors and occupiers through more than 350 offices (excluding affiliates) worldwide. CBRE offers strategic advice and execution for property sales and leasing; corporate services; property, facilities and project management; mortgage banking; appraisal and valuation; development services; investment management; and research and consulting. Please visit our website atwww.cbre.com.au.