Australia’s richest person has splurged about $240million on an office tower for her staff in a move that will strike fear into the hearts of those who still love to work from home.
Mining tycoon Gina Rinehart bought 175 Eagle Street in Brisbane’s CBD from Charter Hall, a property investment fund specialising in office buildings.
The sale of the 19-floor ‘A-grade’ building, which boasts ‘breathtaking views of the Brisbane River and Kangaroo Point’, signals a tentative return for high-end offices among big-name employers.
Vacancies in plush office blocks which spiked during the Covid pandemic when most white-collar staff worked from home are only now starting to fill up again.
Mining tycoon Gina Rinehart (pictured) bought 175 Eagle Street in Brisbane’s CBD from Charter Hall, a property fund specialising in ‘A-grade’ office buildings
175 Eagle Street boasts of two river promenade levels with retail space, a mezzanine level and ‘up to 1,159 square metres of column-free floors’
The return of the office is further reflected by shares in Charter Hall jumping more than 10 per cent on Wednesday, reported The Australian.
David Harrison, CEO of Charter Hall, said the sale gave credence to his belief that the best office towers will survive the post-Covid crisis.
It comes after a poll of Australia’s bosses revealed that the majority think the days of working from home are numbered.
A global survey of more than 1,300 CEOs, carried out by consulting firm KPMG, found that two-thirds of Australian bosses believed that traditional white-collar roles would see a full-time return to the office within three years.
Only a minority thought jobs would remain a hybrid split between home and the office as is the case for many city workers right now.
And those who enjoy the flexibility of the occasional ‘WFH’ day may wish to think again – a whopping 75 per cent of Australian CEOs said they would reward employees who made an extra effort to come into the office in terms of raises, promotions and more interesting work.
Another survey found that almost 40 per cent of senior executives planned to differentiate wages between remote and in-office staff in the next three to five years.
A further 13 per cent went a step further to say remote workers would not only have their pay slashed but their benefits cut as well, in the global poll conducted by law firm Herbert Smith Freehills.
This marks Ms Rinehart’s (pictured) second major office acquisition after she bought a 14-storey office tower in Brisbane for over $100m in February
Ms Rinehart’s latest acquisition has two river promenade levels with retail space, a mezzanine level and ‘up to 1,159 square metres of column-free floors’.
For her millions, the resources mogul and her staff will benefit from ‘contemporary furnishings within offer a sense of prestige and progressiveness’.
‘There’s also an abundance of natural light throughout the building that provides a warm, inviting environment that links people to the leafy outdoor areas,’ an advert for the office block claims.
In February, Ms Rinehart bought a 14-storey office tower in Brisbane for over $100m.
While headquartered in Perth, her company Hancock Prospecting has a large presence in Queensland through its investments in energy and agriculture.
The Brisbane building is the latest addition to her property portfolio that includes $75million worth of commercial real estate along the Sunshine Coast with apartments in Noosa and Brisbane.
Brisbane is currently undergoing a $45billion infrastructure boom ahead of the 2032 Olympic Games.
Spikes in commodity prices have seen Ms Rinehart sail into 2023 firmly entrenched as Australia’s wealthiest person, according to the most recent Australian Financial Review rich list.
Her private company has made almost $20billion in profits during the past four years alone. Her personal wealth is an eye-watering $37.4billion.