Oh where shall it be?
The ANZ Bank insists it will bite the bullet and spend an estimated $350 million plus on a new home in Melbourne.
There has been some cynicism in property circles about the bank's commitment to its ongoing expression of interest process, seeking a new 80,000 square metre campus.
Those doubts were bred by two previous "fashion parades" by the ANZ in the past six years that led to no action.
ANZ's head of property, Jane Hamilton, told The Australian Financial Review that this time the intent was firm.
"We are serious," she said.
"With our lease expiries we have a huge opportunity to consolidate."
Having spent last week receiving presentations from the short-listed hopefuls, Ms Hamilton said she hoped to make a recommendation to the ANZ board within two weeks and have a decision on a preferred bidder by the end of March.
"We have had some absolutely fantastic proposals," she said.
"Once we have selected a developer we will be working with our employee group [because] we have to make sure it suits the people who will be occupying it.
"There is a long way to go yet."
She said the shift to new headquarters with a completely different workplace design was an important part of the bank's cultural transformation.
"The feeling I get in the ANZ is people are very ready for it. We are not going to have to do as much as you would expect in a culture that is more traditional," she said.
"People are ready for this . . . I'm not saying we won't have to do some work, but all the surveying we have done is that everybody is up for it."
The short list was made in January from about 50 expressions of interest after ANZ announced a new property strategy in early December.
Lend Lease and Malaysia's Kuok Group, both of which are offering sites in Melbourne's Docklands, are regarded as the frontrunners.
Three of the short-listed bidders have proposed the former Carlton & United Breweries site for the new facility, which would consolidate 10 buildings and several thousand staff under one roof.
Grocon and Multiplex have both lodged ambitious proposals to build over railway lines to the east of Federation Square at the end of Russell Street.
ANZ wants to move into the new building by July 2009 at the latest and has proposed a lease term of 15 years with two additional five-year options.
The bank's strategy also includes a major refurbishment of its Melbourne headquarters at 100 Queen Street and an alternative to its Sydney premises in Martin Place.
Last week it announced five shortlisted sites for its 20,000 sq m requirement in Sydney, after fielding offers from 16 owners and developers.
Next to Fed Square / Jolimont =
kay: from me.
Or an 80,000sqm Melbourne Central sized tower on the CUB site :lol: