Royal Dutch Shell has stolen a march on rival Chevron by confirming it will anchor a new office tower on the site of the former Perth Entertainment Centre.
The confirmation comes about three years after Shell took up an anchor tenancy on Victoria Avenue, at the Adelaide Terrace end of the CBD, only to find itself already struggling to accommodate a fast-expanding workforce that is expected to double in size over the next two years.
The Anglo-Dutch giant and Leighton Properties yesterday said they were close to finalising negotiations for Shell to be the anchor tenant in the building to be known as KS2 at Kings Square. It will be the first office tower in the 13.5ha City Link project.
Leighton says work on the tower should start early next year
"KS2 at Kings Square will be an iconic contribution to Perth's central business district and a catalyst for broadening inner-city development, including the Perth City Link," Leighton Properties said.
The value of the new high rise has not been released.
But according to the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority it will be an 11-storey office and retail building comprising 19,000sqm of office space.
The authority issued the development application for KS2 at Kings Square earlier this year and said the Shell tower would be the first of seven buildings that would be built on the site.
Leighton Properties is believed to be negotiating the remaining floor space with other businesses.
Most of the big oil and gas players are headquartered around the western end of the CBD, dominated by Woodside Petroleum's tower. Chevron is expected to underwrite construction of an office tower in Elizabeth Quay but is yet to confirm the move. Under the leadership of Ann Pickard, Shell has transformed itself into a leading upstream player in Australia's oil and gas industry.
In addition to big equity positions in the Chevron-led Gorgon and Wheatstone ventures, Shell is also the second-biggest investor in Woodside's Browse proposal and in the midst of developing the world's first floating LNG project, Prelude, based on gas fields off the Kimberley coast.