CSL’s new global HQ almost complete
A new headquarters for the world’s third-largest biotech company CSL will open in early 2023, with construction on the City North project almost complete.
A detailed time-lapse of works, on a site at the northern end of Elizabeth St next to Haymarket roundabout, was released by the company in August, revealing swifter-than-expected progress.
Full completion of the new office and laboratory space is now scheduled for early 2023, a year ahead of the original schedule.
The new development will significantly increase the presence of CSL — Australia’s leading biotech company — in the Parkville biomedical precinct, and cement Melbourne’s place as a world-class research destination.
According to the company, the new facility will support collaborations between biomedical research and industry and create important links in the “benchtop to bedside” translation of new medicines.
Across 21 levels, it will accommodate more than 800 CSL employees including early-stage research and product development teams, commercial operations, corporate functions and support services.
The facility will also include a dedicated area for research and development of flu vaccines.
Construction on the project began in 2020 and was not adversely affected when builder Probuild went into administration earlier this year.
After a brief pause, work restarted on the project when developer PDG reached an agreement with administrators to fund the $1 billion construction directly.
Deputy Lord Mayor Nicholas Reece tweeted photos of the large CSL logo being erected at the City North site on August 5.
“Building signs are up on @CSL new global headquarters in the Melbourne Biomed Precinct. This will be one of the most high-tech biotech facilities in the world. Opening soon!” he said.
Cr Reece was (and remains) the City of Melbourne’s planning chair when the council approved plans for the 86-metre development in September 2019 despite it far exceeding the preferred height limit of 60 metres for Elizabeth St North.
At the time councillors were willing to make exceptions for a project it deemed to have “huge community benefit”.
“It’s fair to say this development does not strictly comply with the preferred heights and setbacks [of the area],” Cr Reece said.
“However, the land use that is proposed here, being an R&D (research and development) centre means that it will make a very significant contribution to a nationally significant area of economic activity for Australia.” •
Caption: The nearly complete new CSL headquarters near Haymarket roundabout.