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Cedar Woods plans strata office for western suburbs

Artist impressions of Newton Apartments by Cedar Woods at Williams Landing.Perth-based developer Cedar Woods will launch a 5000 square metre strata office development next year and is planning a 50-room hotel at its Williams Landing estate in Melbourne’s west to cater for growing employment demand.

Cedar Wood’s Victorian manager Nathan Blackburne said the strata building, to be completed in 2017 subject to planning approvals, followed the successful take-up of a smaller office project at 100 Overton Road.

The new building will be located next to the estate’s shopping centre, which will undergo a $6.5million expansion to include a Future Kids childcare centre and 1200 square metres of retail space.

Research commissioned by Cedar Woods suggests Williams Landing will host 13,000 employees within the next 15 years, a growth in white collar workforce spurred by its location in Wyndham, one of ‘s fastest expanding municipalities.

Few developers are willing to risk building large, speculative suburban office projects.

About three years ago MAB Corporation constructed a 4350-square-metre strata office at its University Hill project in Bundoora, following the earlier success of two similarly-sized buildings.

In Melbourne’s more-active south-eastern office market, a recent pre-commitment from BMW’s financial services arm will allow Frasers Property, formerly known as Australand, to construct a 10,000 square metre, $51 million office in its Mulgrave Office Park.

BMW joins Mazda and healthcare products group BSN Medical as tenants in the three-hectare park.

Also in the south-east, the wealthy Spooner family signed leases in July with American consumer and commercial goods giant Newell Rubbermaid and German high-end appliance maker Miele in its Caribbean Park development in Scoresby.

“The research that we’ve undertaken and the initial development that we’ve completed has shown that there is that demand and that it can be done at a meaningful scale. It’s very much like what MAB did in the north. They pioneered major office development in the outer suburban areas,” Mr Blackburne said.

Williams Landing may be in the running to host a 3500 square metre office for VicRoads employees after Cedar Woods submitted a bid to construct the new building with 10+5+5 year lease terms, despite a stated government preference for the office to be in Sunshine.

The lack of office space in Melbourne’s west was coupled with a lack of accommodation, Mr Blackburne said.

“We’re talking to a number of accommodation providers with the hope of developing a hotel within the next few years,” he said.

When complete, the estate’s commercial hub will have between 40-50 buildings up to five storeys tall, a third will be offices and the remainder a mix of apartments, retail space, bulky goods stores and a childcare centre.

The ASX-listed mid-tier developer has active projects in St Albans, Footscray, Clayton South and in Queensland’s Upper Kedron, where it expects to launch the 228 hectare 1000-lot infill Ellendale estate early next year.

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