Zurich Tower. Image: FJMT
Zurich Tower. Image: FJMT

Zurich Tower in North Sydney is attracting tenants on a number of fronts – sustainability, the attraction of the new and the emerging war for talent driving corporates back to CBD locations plus perks as a way to attract and retain staff.

That’s the view from one of the leasing agents as the building is confirmed as Five-Star Green Star Design and As-Built Certification V1.1 ratings from the Green Building Council of Australia, and a 5-Star NABERS Energy rating.

Key achievements in the newly constructed building at 118 Mount Street include its use of sustainable building materials in construction, its energy and water efficiency in operations, enhanced air filtration, and rooftop solar panels. 

Director of office leasing at CBRE Stefan Perkowski told The Fifth Estate the larger than usual floor plates of around 800 square metres in a new building appealed to tenants and they also saw the benefit of being in a green building as a way to meet their ESG (environmental, social, governance) commitments.

“A lot of companies now with ESG targets and emissions targets are using real estate to help them achieve greener credentials” 

There was also a “flight to quality” with companies moving to CBD locations in a pitch to attract staff in the growing “war for talent”.

“A lot of companies now with ESG targets and emissions targets are using real estate to help them achieve greener credentials,” he said. 

Some of the buildings such as Victoria Cross by Lendlease and Winten Property’s 1 Denison Street both in North Sydney had attracted tenants from areas such as Macquarie Park and Baulkham Hills. 

Stefan Perkowski is director of office leasing at CBRE

Pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk, for instance, had moved from Baulkham Hills to 118 Mount Street, and Microsoft moved from Macquarie Park to 1 Denison Street.

The Sydney CBD is also doing well as a result of the same factors despite the impact of the pandemic and achieving around $1800 a square metre net for good premium grade buildings with a view. 

“That’s the stock that is trading at the moment; people are saying, ‘how do we get people back? We get the best view and it’s about half the amount of space but double the experience’.”

Mr Perkowski said the way companies were luring staff back was “all carrot, no stick”.

“People are using all sorts of weird and wacky things to attract people back.”

These included free breakfasts or free lunches and even free dry cleaning on a Friday if people came back on Monday for the pick up. 

“With ESG there is now a big push on the social piece as well, and how landlords can help occupiers with that piece of the puzzle.” 

“It’s more of a partnership between occupiers and landlords.” In that sense wellness was rising in importance, he said.

About half the space is committed to Zurich, levels 11, 10 and eight are already leased with six levels still available at asking rentals of around $895 net a square metre.

CBRE and Colliers are co leasing agents on 118 Mount Street.

Building profile

The 21,405 square-metre office building rises 29 storeys and features floor to ceiling windows, an outdoor terrace, 14 showers, 202 lockers, 190 bike racks, and charging stations for electric vehicles. 

It also has a two-level podium with a café area, a terrace, and a three-level basement car park.

The new tower, designed by FJMT architects with services designed by AECOM, structure by Northrop, and construction, on the site of a demolished six-storey building, by Roberts Pizarotti. 

Project value is around $159 million. 

The location in North Sydney is a drawcard – close to restaurants, cafés, the Sydney Harbour foreshore, public transport including North Sydney Station and the future Victoria Cross Metro, and other lifestyle amenities. 

The building was developed by Zurich and is now owned by CBRE Global Investors and a German real estate fund.

“We believe that the significant investment we have made in the sustainable, innovative design and operation of this property will ensure that it is a sought-after office destination where people, teams and organisations can thrive and find inspiration for years to come,” said Chris Johnston, managing director of direct private real estate in Australia and New Zealand at CBRE.

Zurich Tower. Image: FJMT

Zurich Tower. Image: FJMT

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