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Hines leases all of Conservatory retail space

The RAA has leased the entire ground floor retail tenancy of Adelaide's newest "green" building – the $70 million Conservatory on Hindmarsh Square development.

The deal returns the RAA to "RAA Corner" on the intersection of Hindmarsh Square and Grenfell Street, city, which the motoring and insurance organisation gave up in 2004 when the site was sold for the Conservatory development to be undertaken.

RAA Chief Executive, Ian Stone, said that the move was an exciting phase for the RAA, which shares a long history with Hindmarsh Square.

"The iconic corner is associated with great sentimental value for the Association, so it seemed only natural to return to this location," Mr Stone said.

The 19-level building comprises ground floor retail space, four floors of above-ground parking and five of high-quality office space, with 53 luxury apartments offering views across Adelaide on the top nine levels. The apartments are over 94% sold with only 3 of the 53 apartments remaining for sale.

The South Australian Department of Trade and Economic Development announced in March that it had leased all the office space at the Conservatory, which earned Major Project status from the South Australian Government because of its environmental credentials and ability to act as a benchmark for future residential and office projects across Australia.

The Conservatory on Hindmarsh Square has been billed as one of Australia's most environmentally advanced residential and office towers, boasting an array of green design features such as on-site power generation via a unique solar-cell spine and from an on-site gas micro-turbine. Other environmental initiatives include performance glazing, energy efficient elevators, air conditioning and lighting systems, a built-in recycling system, a selection of finishes to provide superior indoor environment quality, and rainwater collection and re-use.

In conjunction with the NABERS office rating, green targets for the residential component of the building include a 50 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, a 51 per cent cut in water use and a 50 per cent reduction in energy use.

Given the mixed use nature of the building, a Green Star office rating can not be applied, and Conservatory was even too advanced to qualify as pilot project for the upcoming Green Star mixed use rating tool. The actual performance targets on track to be achieved will establish Conservatory as one of the "greenest" buildings of its type in Australia.

Development spokesperson, Hines Property Director James Hines said the Conservatory on Hindmarsh Square project provided strong proof of the emerging commercial and residential imperative of adopting an environmentally sustainable approach to design and construction.

"A building such as Conservatory can cost up to 20 per cent more to build because of the environmentally sustainable principles and the cost of the technology at its core," he said. "However, the ongoing savings on running costs – and the significant environmental benefits – have ensured the leasing and sales success of the project.

He said over 94 per cent of the apartments in Conservatory on Hindmarsh had already been sold off the plan, with just three apartments remaining for sale.

The building – being constructed by Bovis Lend Lease – is due for completion in 2009, and RAA is set to move back to RAA Corner during the second half of that year.