Construction of Amazon’s new Melbourne headquarters has begun, with the building located on Collins Street. The $1.5 billion tower is said to be a project intent on cementing the importance of CBD workplaces in a post-pandemic world.

Delivering a boost to the Victorian economy, the tower’s construction will provide around 1500 jobs, and will eventually house approximately 4500 workers upon completion.

Designed by Cox Architecture and Gensler, the tower — that will be joined by a smaller second tower in the coming years — will possess next-generation Smart Building technology that monitors air quality and touchless amenities to support enhanced health, hygiene and wellness.

Adam Beavis, Amazon Web Services’ Managing Director for Australia and New Zealand says the tower will provide company employees with a contemporary office that will ensure the longevity of corporate high-rise into the long term.

“We recognise the way we work has been changed forever by the pandemic,” he says in an interview with the Australian Financial Review.

“As Melbourne emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, we are looking forward to gradually returning to an office-centric culture as our baseline.

“We believe it enables us to invent, collaborate and learn together most effectively.”

Construction began after a 15,000sqm pre-commitment was given by Amazon to developer Charter Hall after the second Victorian lockdown. The tech giant has poured plenty of dollars into the region, with an additional fulfilment centre to be constructed in Melbourne’s west, as well as a new Amazon Web Services cloud infrastructure region scheduled to be completed next year.

Charter Hall’s Chief Executive for Office Carmel Hourigan says moving back to the office is a no brainer for companies looking to get the best out of their employees.

“Clearly there are some benefits to home-based office work, however, to maintain productivity, collaboration and learning, and to preserve the corporate culture, it is critical employees return to the office for the majority of their working week,” she says.

“Australia is now in the position to write the play book for CBD revival, given we are among the first in the world to emerge from the pandemic”.

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