New Chapter For Historic Collins Street Building

Posted on 27th June 2022

A historic Collins Street building in the “Paris end” of Melbourne’s CBD is set for a new chapter.

Wilkinson Publishing will occupy 206sqm across levels 6 and 7 of 174 Collins Street on a long 6+6-year term negotiated by Fitzroys’ Hamish Dennis and Stephen Land at $70,000 per annum, or $340 per sqm.

Dennis and Land negotiated the lease on behalf of the Baptist Union of Victoria.

“Wilkinson Publishing has a passion for heritage buildings in Melbourne - particularly in the Paris end of town - and loved the rich history associated with 174 Collins,” Dennis said.

The space is within the boutique eight-level building Central House, adjoining the circa-1862 Collins Street Baptist Church designed by Joseph Reed, who also designed the Melbourne Town Hall. The first chapel was built on the site in 1845, seven years after the first Baptist service in Melbourne was held on a vacant site opposite that is now home to the Regent Theatre. The current church was built on 174 Collins Street in 1862.

Wilkinson Publishing will remain in the Paris end of the CBD, moving from their current premises at Alcaston House at 2 Collins Street.

Dennis said there was particular interest from media and digital companies.

“Many tenants are looking for space from circa 150 sqm to 300 sqm, particularly space that is fully-fitted or has a brand-new spec fit-out. Tenants are looking to plug and play.

“The sub-500sqm market overall has been particularly active. Businesses with smaller space requirements have proven to be more agile and more willing to make commitments to leases, and now we’re seeing tenants wanting to commit to longer-term leases after assessing their requirements during COVID.

“Smaller offices are conducive to a smaller capital outlay at a time in which not all staff are expected to be in the office at all times.”

Property Council of Australia data shows office occupancy in the Melbourne CBD lifted again in May, to 48%.