9 Grams café mogul secures spot in Worksafe building in Geelong’s CBD

NAVARONE FARRELL
GEELONG ADVERTISER
22 MAY 2017


Ihab Housaiki and Shane Quinn out the front of 9 Grams, Armstrong Creek.

GEELONG’S CBD is set for a taste of Pakington St, with renowned cafe 9 Grams winning the a lease to the WorkSafe building.

The $120 million building at 1 Malop St is almost completely leased with only 900sq m left of its 15,000sq m available, as the 14-storey building climbs towards the sky.

WorkSafe will complete its transition to the new office by mid-2018 and is expected to employee around 700.

The cafe will be the third 9 Grams outlet for Ihab Housaiki and will, he believes, make him Geelong’s biggest cafe owner, a success he puts down to his emphasis on warmth and friendliness as much as quality food and coffee.

“Geelong has an impressive food and wine culture, day and night, seven days a week,” he said.

“There are 54 cafes on Pakington St alone. You can’t just open any old business. People know about coffee and they want to feel welcome.”


WorkSafe are expecting to be up and operating by mid-next year.

Mr Housaiki said the cafe would align with the other 9 Grams outlets, while being tweaked to cater to an office crowd with plenty of healthy options.

The fitout will be designed to make the most of its location, and tie in with the development.

 “The building is stunning, it’ll be iconic, so you can’t just open an average looking cafe there. I’m looking forward to being a part of a development that will make Malop Street, and Geelong as a whole, a better place,” said Mr Housaiki.

The lease will run five years, and was part of an expressions of interest campaign by Colliers International, Geelong.

CEO of Quintessential Equity, Shane Quinn, who is developing the building said it was important to choose a quality cafe operator and that Mr Housaiki had been a standout applicant.

“The last remaining is in high demand, and would suit private or government sector organisations in areas complementary to WorkSafe,” Mr Quinn said.

Mr Quinn said there are more than 100 people, mostly Geelong locals, working on the site.

“The core has currently been built to level 11, and the floor slabs have been poured to level seven — and we’re looking to top out to the rooftop in midyear,” he said.