Melbourne’s inner-city commercial market is showing signs of a rebound, with news of a significant office lease bringing workers back to the CBD.
Clemenger Group has decided to take all of the office space in the reinvigorated David Jones menswear building at 299 Bourke Street.
The marketing and communications company is the first major business to announce a relocation into the central business district following the area’s extensive COVID-19 restrictions in 2020 and 2021.
Occupying 7,500 square metres, the offices will accommodate up to 900 of the Clemenger Group’s staff under various company umbrellas, including the Omnicom Media Group.
Melbourne lord mayor Sally Capp called the move “fantastic news for the CBD and a vote of confidence in Melbourne’s future as a thriving economic hub”.
“The buzz is building on our streets. We are experiencing week-on-week growth in our foot traffic as employees return to city workplaces,” Ms Capp noted.
The relocation marks something of a return for the brand. Clemenger Group chairman Robert Morgan explained that the company’s origins trace back to a basement lease in Bourke Street, where John Clemenger Advertising was established in 1946.
Given their history with Melbourne, Mr Morgan indicated that supporting the city’s rebound was important.
“We are proud to be at the forefront of revitalising Melbourne’s business landscape after the pandemic, becoming the only major marketing and communication company to reside in the city,” he said.
They will join a number of retail tenants who have already nabbed space in the redesigned premises. MECCA Brands is set to open a new Australian flagship at 299 Bourke Street, while Rodd & Gunn has taken out a lease on the Little Collins Street side of the building.
Newmark Capital contracted architects Bates Smart to undertake the redesign, which the investment and development company’s general manager of property Angus MacHutchison said was intended to “preserve 299 Bourke Street’s history while adding premium retail spaces and offices that are true workplaces of the future”.
“This is a flagship location offering a unique blend of tradition and modernity, as well as unparalleled amenity in the heart of the city. We remain extremely confident in Melbourne’s CBD returning to normal and clearly Clemenger Group share our vision,” he added.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Based in Sydney, Juliet Helmke has a broad range of reporting and editorial experience across the areas of business, technology, entertainment and the arts. She was formerly Senior Editor at The New York Observer.
Never miss a beat with
Stay across what’s happening in the Australian commercial property market by signing up to receive industry-specific news and policy alerts, agency updates, and insights from reb.
Subscribe to reb Commercial: