Encouraging the return to work in Melbourne’s CBD

20 February 2024

Following a sustained period of hybrid and flexible working arrangements, employees in Melbourne are returning to CBD offices. Statistics on workplace trends and usage collected by CBRE Group across Australia’s major CBD markets indicate that office occupancy is climbing to pre-pandemic levels, and Melbourne is no exception.

Anticipating this transition back to CBD workplaces, Riverlee has invested in a series of major upgrades and refurbishments to its commercial office spaces including 379 Collins, 10 Queen St and 179 Queen St. Showcasing enhanced amenities – including cafes and collaboration spaces, improved accessibility, more effective sustainability measures, engaging signage and wayfinding – these projects seek to enhance tenant experience and support employees to return to their offices across the city.

Riverlee’s in-house design team understands the importance of amenity-driven design in enticing employees back to CBD workplaces. The extensive refurbishment of 179 Queen transforms a commercial office into a stimulating work environment reflecting the atmosphere of its location in the heart of the legal precinct. A vibrant new extended lobby and buzzing ‘grab-and-go’ Bailey Espresso Café welcomes both tenants and the wider community to the ground floor, offering engaging spaces promoting connection and social interaction. Designed by project partner Six Degrees, other amenities and additions under the refurbishment include new lift carts, upgraded common areas like shared kitchen facilities, and new wayfinding measures throughout the building.

With an unrivalled commitment to design excellence across Australia’s commercial workplace sector, we are deeply attuned to how workplace design can positively contribute to employee productivity and performance. 379 Collins St, currently undergoing a major repositioning, will be enhanced by a new façade at ground level, an entry lobby and café with casual work zones, and a new flagship corner retail space. Designed in collaboration with architect Gray Puksand, the reposition is anticipated to be completed later this year. Home to high-profile corporate companies and Riverlee’s Headquarters, the refurbished site represents a new era of the progressive corporate workplace, with immersive spaces designed to keep employees engaged, inspired and productive when they come to work.

“Riverlee continues to embrace the flight to quality direction through our latest series of corporate office refurbishments in the heart of the city. We appreciate the vital role the workplace has in facilitating face-to-face collaboration between employees, and connection among the wider community. Our investment in these amenity-driven upgrades is based on creating engaging environments that support workplace culture, social connection, learning and development,” says Riverlee GM of Asset Management, Nick Warren.

Returning to CBD workplaces doesn’t simply mean returning to the office. For many people, it means reconnecting with the broader Melbourne CBD including business and retail precincts, restaurants and hospitality hubs, and recreational experiences the city is renowned for. Riverlee’s recent transformation of 179 Queen features a series of upgrades that create seamless connectivity to its location in Melbourne’s bustling financial precinct. These include a refurbished ground floor lobby and café with premium new interior fit-outs enhancing the employee arrival experience and sense of connection to the CBD. Other upgrades throughout the building include new lift carts, way-finding and signage, and revised building management systems that enhance the operational efficiency and sustainability of the site.

All three properties are currently leasing office spaces to a diverse range of corporate tenants, with dramatically increasing leasing enquiries since the upgrades began resulting in the signing of four deals equating to 1,100sqm over the last three months.

 

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