Cbus Pantscraper takes another legal eagle in its stride

By Financial Review (Nick Lenaghan)

Melbourne's top-flight legal eagles are flocking to the $1.25 billion Cbus Property project in Collins Street, with a third big firm signing on to anchor the landmark tower.

The super fund developer has now secured law firm Gadens to take 5000 square metres within the 49,000sq m office component of the mixed-use project.

Formally known as Collins Arch, the project extends over an entire island site in Collins Street, bounded by Williams and Market streets.

With its two towers joined by a skybridge, the project's unique design has given rise to a better-known moniker: the Pantscraper.

The skyscraper has become a veritable eyrie for high-flying lawyers, with King & Wood Mallesons committing to 8300sq m and HWL Ebsworth taking 6500sq m.  

The huddle of law firms secured by Cbus Property accounts for 40 per cent of the commercial space in the project.

"Collins Arch was designed to be a signifier of leading design and instantly recognisable as a statement of Melbourne's premier status globally," Cbus Property chief executive  Adrian Pozzo said.

Designed by Woods Bagot and New York-based SHoP Architects, the tower is in the early stages of construction. It will include 205 luxury apartments and a 294-room five-star hotel. 

"This highly significant step for our firm and its future will further enhance our market position and demonstrates our commitment to being a pre-eminent, independent Australian firm," Gadens chief executive Grant Scott-Hayward said.

The super fund developer hopes to garner the first WELL rating for a commercial building in Melbourne when the project is completed in 2019.

The new international standard rates the extent to which a building contributes to its occupants' health 

Colliers International leasing agent Andrew Beasley said the project's address in Collins Street had "resonated" with potential tenants.

"The view south across Melbourne's Yarra River and Port Phillip Bay and Collins Street-facing northern vista are just part of what makes Collins Arch a major drawcard," he said.

A key feature of the project is the 2000sq m of public space created around the towers. That will potentially be extended by the city council's plan to close off half of Market Street, creating another 1500sq m of open space next to the Pantscraper. 

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