24 November 2021
Heritage Bank has selected fellow mutual Australian Unity as its partner for the historic project to design and build a new Head Office complex in the Toowoomba CBD.
The multi-million dollar project involves developing a campus-style complex in the heart of the city, with a design that will make the building an iconic landmark for Toowoomba.
Heritage has appointed Australian Unity to identify a suitable site, develop the plans, and lead the construction process to build the new Head Office.
Australian Unity will also create the innovative property trust structure that the new building will be placed into. The property trust will provide an investment opportunity for Heritage members.
The project represents the alignment of two of Australia’s oldest mutual organisations, with Australian Unity bringing its development and property funds management expertise to help realise Heritage Bank’s vision and commitment to the Toowoomba community.
“We’re thrilled to announce that we’ve chosen Australian Unity as our development partner for this historic project, which will be one of the most significant commercial developments in Toowoomba’s history,” said Heritage Bank CEO Peter Lock.
“As a fellow mutual, Australian Unity fully understands our commitment to our members, as well as our commitment to the Toowoomba region, which has been our home since our origins here in 1875.
“This new building will enhance the ability of our staff to continue delivering outstanding services to our members, and will cater for future growth.
“Australian Unity’s grasp of our brief and their property expertise, particularly in relation to the property trust structure, makes them an ideal development partner.”
Australian Unity Executive General Manager - Property, Mark Pratt, said it was terrific to be part of Heritage Bank’s new Head Office project.
“Australian Unity is delighted to be partnering with Heritage Bank and the Toowoomba community to deliver this landmark project, and to work with Heritage Bank to create an investment opportunity for its members,” Mr Pratt said.
“This project builds on Australian Unity’s growing presence in the region demonstrated by our recent investments in a new ‘A grade’ office building in Beenleigh, specialist disability accommodation and childcare property in Toowoomba and across south east Queensland, in addition to the $1.1 billion Herston Quarter precinct in Brisbane.”
“Australian Unity has also increased our footprint in Queensland this year with the purchase of aged care and retirement living owner-operator Greengate, which includes co-located retirement living and residential aged care in Woolloongabba, as well as a prime development site in Auchenflower that has approval for a vertical retirement village and residential aged care precinct,” he said.
Heritage’s plans for the new Head Office involve building a campus-style complex in the heart of Toowoomba that would provide a minimum of 5,000m2 floor space for the bank.
The new building will incorporate green spaces and collaboration areas, features such as a childcare centre, gym, and café, as well as other facilities that will be open to the community. It will also be designed with the lessons of COVID in mind, to fit hybrid working models.
The aim is to complete construction by 2025, in time to mark the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Toowoomba Permanent Building Society, the forerunner to Heritage Bank.
Heritage will continue using its current Head Office building at 400 Ruthven Street in Toowoomba until the new complex was finished, and then make a decision on its future use. That could be either the sale of the building or leasing out the space for commercial use.