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WorkSafe building developer Quintessential Equity to invest $250 million in Geelong

NATHAN MAWBY
GEELONG ADVERTISER
20 FEBRUARY 2016

The developer behind Geelong’s planned WorkSafe Victoria tower is eyeing a second site in Geelong at 44 Ryrie St. Picture: Mike Dugdale

 

THE developer tasked with building a home for WorkSafe Victoria in Geelong could pump a quarter of a billion dollars into the Geelong economy over the space of the next two years, claiming the city is “on the cusp of a prosperity that hasn’t been seen in a long time”.

Just days after being announced as the winner of the tender to build the new WorkSafe Victoria building in Geelong, Quintessential Equity has revealed intentions for a second, world-leading building in the city’s CBD.

Under the proposal, the developer would transform a second-hand furniture store at 44 Ryrie St into a $130 million, 11-storey office tower with world-leading equitable use and accessibility features.

Quintessential Equity director Shane Quinn with MP Christine Couzens, Worksafe CEO Clare Amies and finance minister Robin Scott at the site of Geelong’s new WorkSafe building. Picture: Mike Dugdale

 

The building would be surrounded by glass and feature roll-through lifts so people in wheelchairs never have to back out of an elevator, as well as an 11th floor rooftop terrace that looks north to Corio Bay.

With a 90m frontage to Ryrie St, and further space occupied along Fenwick St, the building would have a footprint of about 1700sq m.

Quintessential Equity director Shane Quinn had previously told the Geelong Advertiser he intended to look at further sites around the city in addition to his 1 Malop St development, which will be developed as the home to WorkSafe Victoria from 2018.

On Friday, Mr Quinn confirmed he would also pursue a tender to provide a joint premises for the National Disability Insurance Agency and Department of Human Services in Geelong.

Mr Quinn intends to call the building “Inspire” and has enlisted two-time Paralympian Nick Morris OAM, the director of Morris Access Consulting, to the design team for the project as he seeks to create a world leading building for the government agencies.


Paralympian Nick Morris.

 

“People will travel the world to inspect this building, because of its DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) and access compliance and as it will set a new benchmark in terms of office buildings,” Mr Quinn said.

Mr Morris said the project offered an opportunity for Geelong to become a leader for accessibility design.

“We are proud to be involved in this project and it’s an opportunity to showcase universal design and world-class accessibility options that can inspire a workplace of change for people of all abilities and skills,” Mr Morris said.

Local disability advocate Jacqui Pierce said it would help to continue the efforts of the City of Greater Geelong around disability access, which had helped attract the attention of the NDIA.

“I think the City of Greater Geelong is already leading the way. And if we can’t lead the way, then who can?” Ms Pierce said.

On top of the WorkSafe Victoria development, the proposed development for 44 Ryrie St would bring the total value of Quintessential Equity’s planned works in Geelong to a hefty $250 million.

“We believe that Geelong has had troubles and we think it’s on the cusp of a prosperity that hasn’t been seen in a long time,” Mr Quinn said.

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