Helping shape Australia's cities for competitiveness and as desirable places to work and live

We pride ourselves on taking an active role in shaping the cities in which we operate. Our goal is to create better experiences and outcomes for our customers and the wider community through enhancing the productivity and vibrancy of precincts.

In FY17 Dexus continued to create sustained value in leading Australian cities by: 

  • Activating precincts and providing open public spaces servicing the community
  • Collaborating with industry, our peers and local governments to build and promote sustainability initiatives and projects
  • Celebrating our cities as cultural destinations through local events and festivals

This year we successfully hosted local community events and completed precinct redevelopments, connecting city spaces and showcasing cultural destinations.

We experienced the environmental and social effects from major incidents during the year including high winds and flooding resulting from Cyclone Debbie, and the tragic event that transpired at Bourke Street in Melbourne.

We have worked closely with local councils, the Police and others to manage incidents and maintain safety at our centres.

Conversely, we have celebrated major successes and milestones, including:

  • 50th birthday of Australia Square – designed by the renowned architect Harry Seidler
  • Awards for 5 Martin Place, Sydney and 480 Queen Street, Brisbane recognising their innovative design and construction, and contribution to sustainable cities
  • Acknowledgement of our sustainability achievements by the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) and CDP
  • Launch of our Childspace offering which assists customer employees’ returning to work through the provision of priority access to childcare spaces
  • Progressed and completed new dining and entertainment precincts at Tweed City Shopping Centre and Willows Shopping Centre, and added or upgraded end-of-trip facilities across several buildings including 360 Collins Street, Melbourne to improve building amenity

Delivering FY17 leading cities commitments

 = Achieved   = Not Achieved   = Underway

Commitment Status FY17 achievements
Build collaborative relationships with government at local and state levels to shape Australia’s cities for competitiveness and as desirable places to work and live. Successfully strengthened relationships with local and state governments through the planning and delivery of developments and placemaking projects in City of Sydney, North Sydney, Parramatta, Melbourne and Brisbane.
Continue a three-year program completing in 2018 to improve the permeability and vibrancy of CBD precincts through the redevelopment of nine city retail spaces in and around the ground floor plane of Dexus’s CBD office properties, including lobbies and laneways. Progress made towards 2018 target with 8 of the 9 properties now complete including: 5 Martin Place, Sydney; King Square, Perth; 480 Queen Street, Brisbane; Australia Square Retail, Sydney; Gateway Retail, Sydney; and Grosvenor Place, Sydney. The remaining retail space at 105 Phillip Street is expected to be completed in FY18.
Complete the addition of 5,000 square metres of public space through the completion of Dexus office developments in Sydney in FY17. Completed over 5,000 square metres of public space through developments at Gateway Retail, Sydney, 480 Queen Street, Brisbane and King Square, Perth.
Identify childcare eligible space within the Dexus portfolio to expand the availability of childcare centres in the CBD, providing working parents with more flexibility when managing career and family obligations. Launched a partnership with Guardian Early Learning Group in October 2016 providing priority access to childcare spaces for Dexus customers.

Creating vibrant cities

Activating precincts

Across CBD markets, we take an active approach in creating leading cities through activating the ground floor planes of our properties, connecting our office properties within inspiring precincts, and attracting visitors through retail and dining experiences.

During the year we completed city retail developments at Gateway and Grosvenor Place in Sydney and 360 Collins Street in Melbourne.

Other developments at 100 Mount Street North Sydney and 105 Phillip Street Parramatta are underway and will positively contribute to these growing office markets.

We progressed and completed new dining and entertainment precincts for our managed shopping centres at Tweed City in Tweed Heads, Willows Shopping Centre in Townsville and Smithfield Shopping Centre in Cairns.

Creating an integrated office, retail and leisure offering at Gateway

This year we successfully partnered with local government to complete a $80 million ground floor retail redevelopment at Gateway, within Sydney’s Circular Quay precinct.

Upon completion, Gateway’s retail space doubled to 4,385 square metres and now offers 28 diverse food and dining experiences.

The redevelopment had seen activation of Gateway’s precinct to the streetscape, via laneways and atria, redefining this premium tower as a dynamic food hub and lifestyle destination. Our new offering supports the growth of a vibrant, safe and diverse day-to-night economy.

During the re-development we engaged with the local council to enhance Jessie Street Gardens, providing valuable open green space in the heart of the CBD. 

With proximity to Sydney Harbour and its many attractions – including the Sydney Opera House and Museum of Contemporary Art – Gateway enhances Sydney’s standing as a global city, making it a safe and inviting place to live, work and play for the office tower’s occupants and Sydney’s 9.2 million visitors annually.


Celebrating our cities and communities

Dexus participates in city and local events and festivals, and activates our precincts and lobby spaces for our customers and the broader community.  

Once again, Dexus collaborated with Destination NSW to celebrate this year’s Sydney Vivid festival of light.  We hosted several events held within our properties, including Dexus Place at Governor Macquarie Tower and 1 Bligh Street, showcasing our vibrant, innovative, connected spaces. 

Gateway also actively participated in Vivid delivering its busiest week ever with over 72,000 people movements through the dining precinct in the first week of the festival.
This year we celebrated Australia Square’s 50th birthday, a key milestone for one of Sydney’s iconic buildings. Demonstrating its longevity, Australia Square was recently named by the Urban Development Institute of Australia as one of the top five developments built in NSW over the past 50 years.  During the celebration, a lobby activation showcased the building’s innovative design and construction.
In October, 480 Queen Street in Brisbane opened its doors to the public as part of Brisbane Open House - a free public festival that celebrates Brisbane’s architecture and offers behind-the-scenes access to buildings across the city. The day was very popular, with a large number of visitors throughout the event.
Planning for our communities’ future: Willows Shopping Centre, Townsville

Willows Shopping Centre is located in Townsville’s rapid growth corridor and owned by Dexus Wholesale Property Fund.

Dexus identified a need to meet growing community demand for an enhanced retail and fresh food experience.

In May 2015, Dexus commenced a transformational $82 million development incorporating a mix of new local and national retail brands.

Construction of Stage 1 was completed in November 2016, delivering a new Woolworths, a new fresh food Market Court experience and an additional 250 undercover car spaces.

Construction of Stage 2 is underway and includes a new fashion mall with 20 new speciality retailers, a large format Cotton On store and the introduction of Harris Scarfe.

The development is on track for completion by the end of 2017 and is set to deliver a relaxed, modern lifestyle destination for the Townsville community, while providing an economic boost to the region through the creation of an estimated 150 construction jobs and additional retail employment opportunities.

Recognising our contribution to sustainable cities

Awards for building design and architecture

In May, 5 Martin Place Sydney or, as it is commonly known, the Money Box building, received three awards including ‘Development of the Year’ at the 2017 Property Council Innovation & Excellence Awards. 

Originally built in 1913 the building was extensively restored 100 years later by Dexus and Cbus Property and a new office tower was cantilevered above.

The magnificent restored banking chamber houses a high quality range of retailers, many first to the Australian market. 

By breathing new life into the streetscape below and investing in public art, the building has enhanced one of the most important gathering places in the heart of Sydney's CBD.

Recognising our sustainability leadership

Each year Dexus responds to global sustainability benchmarks to connect with sustainability-focused investors, benchmark strategy and performance and identify potential improvements.

Dexus is a signatory to the United Nations Principles of Responsible Investment (PRI), and we maintain our commitment to invest responsibly and raise awareness of responsible investment with our stakeholders.

2017 marked ten years of climate change disclosure to CDP. We maintained our position on the CDP Climate A List for the fourth consecutive year, highlighting our ongoing commitment to climate change initiatives.

Once again Dexus responded to the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB), which assesses the sustainability performance of real estate entities globally.

In our 2016 GRESB response, Dexus Office Trust rated 5th globally amongst over 700 participants, achieving 1st place in its Australian Listed Office peer group.

Collaborating to create value


Childspace is an industry-first initiative that offers priority of access to childcare spaces for Dexus customers at over 90 Guardian Early Learning Centres nationally.

Dexus and Guardian Early Learning Group partnered to create Childspace as part of our commitment to better customer solutions. This initiative will help our building community alleviate the stress of dealing with lengthy waitlists.

Since its launch in October 2016, over 30 customers have received offers of enrolment, and many customers have been given waitlist priority. Within our partnership we are also assessing the feasibility for new centres.

Building city partnerships

Dexus helps shape the cities in which we operate by active engaging with local government and business groups. 

Kevin George, Executive General Manager Office and Industrial is a board member for the Committee for Sydney; a collaboration between business, universities, government and not-for-profits to champion for the whole of Sydney, providing thought leadership to enhance of the economic, social, cultural and environmental conditions that make Sydney a competitive and liveable global city.

We also maintained active involvement with similar groups nationwide with Dexus team members contributing to the Committee for Perth, Melbourne Chamber of Commence, Brisbane Marketing, and the Tweed Heads Chamber of Commerce.

Dexus is a founding member of the Sydney-based Better Buildings Partnership that brings together property managers to collaborate on improving environmental performance and value chain relationships.

During the year Paul Wall, Head of Sustainability and Energy, took over as Chair of the BBP Leadership Group which forms the strategy for the BBP initiatives.

Through our involvement in BBP working groups, we helped develop and adopt BBP group initiatives including the roll out of BBP’s operational waste guidelines and the BBP Leasing Standard. 

In line with our 2020 commitments, we also commenced integrating BBP’s ‘strip out’ waste guidelines within our tenancy de-fit projects.

During the year we celebrated a number of successful projects as we enhanced our internal expertise and developed downstream materials receiving networks.

Across our regional shopping centres, management teams worked closely with local councils, the Police and emergency services to maintain safety standards.

This was particularly evident during the extreme weather brought by Cyclone Debbie across Queensland and northern NSW in March, as well as the tragic incident that unfolded at Bourke Street in Melbourne. 

Continued communication and check-ins with authorities enables us to foster vibrant, stable and safe communities, and provide support to those in times of need.
Shaping the cities of the future: Waterfront Precinct

The Waterfront Precinct has the potential to be the best riverfront precinct in Queensland.

With ownership in five assets across a 3.4 hectare footprint, together with our capital partners Dexus has a unique opportunity to consolidate and connect the riverfront precinct to the CBD.

Our idea is to create a vibrant commercial and lifestyle hub on the banks of the Brisbane River that would energise and transform Brisbane into a thriving world-class city.

For our office customers, we promoted events which raise awareness and are products for change for future sustainability. This activity included City Switch, and other programs such as the 2017 Earth Hour campaign.

Dexus participated in the trial for a whole building NABERS rating, by concurrently preparing NABERS Energy ratings for Dexus’s base building operations as well as assessing the performance of individual tenancies, an innovative way to collaborate on sustainability.

44 Market Street Sydney hosted a launch event for the outcomes of the whole building NABERS rating. The building was one of the properties which participated in the trial to understand the feasibility of combined ratings as a value-add service our customers. Over 30 of our customers were involved in the trial.

Industry advocacy

In FY17 Dexus participated in 30 forums across property and non-property industries. In addition, Dexus was represented across 42 industry committees.

Dexus also actively engaged with the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) and the Property Council of Australia (PCA) through group initiatives and regular advocacy. We have 31 Dexus team members participating in PCA committees, roundtables and working groups.

We adopted the GBCA’s Green Star Performance rating tool across our office and retail properties, enabling us to benchmark and develop initiatives to improve our results.

During FY17, Dexus management and thought leaders spoke publicly at many industry events and conferences, providing thoughts and insights on investment and market trends, property investment management issues, ESG issues including climate change, and other responsible investment and property management topics.

The Dexus in-house Research team analyses key ‘megatrends’ that affect the property sector, and during the year continued to publish market commentary and our regular Office Demand Barometer.

Leading cities - performance data

Sustainability benchmark FY17 Performance summary

In 2017, PRI awarded Dexus:

  • ‘A+’ perfect score for our strategy and governance
  • A rating for our approach to responsible investment across our Direct Property portfolio
  • Dexus Office Trust achieved 5th globally amongst over 700 participants, achieving 1st place in its Australian Listed Office peer group
  • Dexus Wholesale Property Fund (DWPF) achieved 1st place within its Australia-Diversified (Office/Retail) peer group
  • Both entities maintained their Green Star status recognising our success at both management and policy, and implementation
  • Dexus celebrated ten years of climate change disclosure
  • Dexus was awarded ‘A-Leadership’ status, recognising best practice
  • Dexus maintained its position on the CDP Climate A List for our fourth consecutive year
  • Dexus was one of six ASX-listed companies included in the global Climate ‘A-list’ recognising the top 9% of respondents
  • Dexus was included as a finalist in the CDP 2016 Australian Climate Leadership Awards for the largest relative carbon reduction
  • Dexus retained its position in the 2016 DJSI World, Asia Pacific and Australian indices
  • Dexus was awarded a Bronze Class Sustainability Award in the RobecoSAM 2017 Sustainability Yearbook