Chevron's new HQ site revealed

Peter Kerr


Chevron will swoop on a prime piece of land surrounding the Elizabeth Quay development in the city for its new WA headquarters in as little as four weeks, according to market sources.

Precise details of one of the worst-kept secrets in Perth business circles began to emerge yesterday, despite the best efforts of the State Government and the US petroleum giant in recent weeks to keep the project under wraps.

Sources close to the development told _WestBusiness _ that Chevron's new tower would be on the corner of Barrack Street and the Esplanade, just across from Perth's prestigious male-only Weld Club.

It would stand on an aggregated double block, known in Government plans as lots seven and eight, to be bought by Chevron for an as yet undisclosed sum.

An announcement could be planned for as early as next month, according to sources.

"They (contractors) are under pressure to have the clean-up of the blocks done within four weeks," one source with knowledge of the site said.

Although the height and design of the tower is yet to be revealed, according to other sources Chevron sent in geotechnical engineers recently to confirm the suitability of the site for its new skyscraper. Artist impressions currently show two towers on the site.

Multiplex has been named as a potential builder.

Chevron refused to comment yesterday, issuing a terse statement.

"We do not comment on speculation," a spokeswoman said.

On Friday the cashed-up oil and gas major, which is overseeing the $43 billion Gorgon LNG project and the $29 billion Wheatstone venture near Onslow, said it was "a leading employer in Perth and here for the long term".

Premier Colin Barnett has spoken in the past of his desire for the area to become an oil and gas precinct to help secure WA's future beyond the current wave of mining investment.

Planning Minister John Day, who is overseeing the development, yesterday refused to bite, saying he did not wish to fan speculation.

The Government unveiled carefully stage-managed plans last week for two adjoining blocks on the development's "eastern peninsula" to yield at least 400 hotel rooms.

With building expected to start late next year in tandem with construction of the inlet, the Government has set aside the first 6800sqm for a mix of retail, residential and short-stay accommodation.