SOARING high over Corio Bay the new headquarters of health insurer GMHBA have reached its highest point, as developer and property private equity company Quintessential Equity tops out construction of the $100 million development.
Topping out — also called topping off — is a construction tradition where builders celebrate the completion of construction and the placing of the final structural beam.
The topping out of 60 Moorabool Street’s ninth floor was marked with a ceremonial tree planting attended by local MP Christine Couzens, Deputy Lord Mayor of Geelong Trent Sullivan, and project partners Kane Construction and GMHBA.
Quintessential Equity, Executive chairman Shane Quinn, said the construction milestone is a significant achievement given the challenges faced over the past 12 months.
“We are so proud to be celebrating this major milestone, which underscores our continued commitment to the growing business community in Geelong,” Mr Quinn said.
“The team has worked tirelessly to get to this point and we’re on track to provide our tenants the opportunity to work within this dynamic and sustainable office space within months.”
State Member for Geelong Christine Couzens said the new building added to the redevelopment of central Geelong as an exciting destination to live and work.
“This project will create more jobs for Geelong workers, and strengthen our local economy,” Ms Couzens said.
Set for completion by mid-2021, the development aims to cater for the growing talent and businesses relocating to Geelong.
Local jobs were a priority from the turning of the first sod and to date over half of the jobs created to deliver this project have come from within Geelong.
“From the outset, we were committed to ensuring this project maximised social and economic outcomes for the region. We are well on track to exceed our local job creation target and deliver on our promise to support Geelong’s economy,” Mr Quinn said.
Through the lifetime of construction the project is anticipated to inject more than $50 million into the local economy.
Kane Constructions is the project’s construction partner. Project director, Sam Birdseye, has led and managed the build.
“We are proud that we can play our part in helping the revitalisation of central Geelong, and providing major economic and social benefits to the region,” Mr Birdseye said.
Featuring over 11,000 square metres of net lettable area, the building is already 75 per cent pre- leased, with its anchor tenant and project development partner GMHBA signing on prior to construction commencing.
Claire Higgins, chair of GMHBA, says the leading health insurer is looking forward to having all staff under the one roof in the company’s home town.
“There’s no doubt that this building will bring some much needed vibrancy and positivity back to Geelong and the city centre,” Ms Higgins says.
Including retail and commercial space, the mixed-use building will accommodate over 900 employees and offer an underground car park with vast end-of-trip facilities.