Podcast | Future Cities

Reimagining Australian office buildings

28 Minute Listen

The images shows a low angle view of a stair case in a modern building with abstract architecture.

Adaptive re-use. It’s a hot topic right now as developers and investors assess how to best repurpose office buildings that are no longer fit for use. 

Given Australia’s housing crisis, it seems a given that some of these empty office towers could be converted to apartments. 

But is this a magic bullet and what are some of the hurdles we need to overcome? And if not for apartments, what other uses could be considered for our ageing office stock. 

In this latest Talking Property episode, we speak to the Principal and Commercial & Workplace Sector Lead at Hassell Ingrid Bakker, the Executive Director of Business NSW David Harding and the head of CBRE's UK Development Advisory Business Zoe Bignell to assess the options available to reenergise our CBDs and create true 24/7 cities.

Converting vacant office buildings in Melbourne’s CBD could create over 10,000 new homes according to international design studio Hassell.

If you have any questions regarding this episode or property topics that you’d like CBRE to address in future episodes, please email us at: [email protected]


Ingrid Bakker

Principal and Commercial & Workplace Sector Leader at Hassell

Ingrid has worked in architecture and interior design for more than 25 years. For more than half of that time, she’s been helping to turn Hassell into the competitive, international design practice it is today. Ingrid leads teams across workplace, residential, hospitality, retail and commercial projects and is highly experienced in project delivery, resource and consultant coordination, as well as client liaison.

David Harding

The Executive Director of Business NSW

David leads an influential team of public and business policy experts located across NSW, providing advocacy into all levels of Government on behalf of all NSW and Australian businesses, and for almost 100,000 member businesses. He works closely with the Australian and NSW governments in the international trade space and has had a long-term interest in the success of economic cooperation and trade agreements.

Zoe Bignell

Managing Director, Head of Development Advisory, CBRE UK

Zoe has specialised in strategic development advisory and development management for circa 30 years. She has a strong track record, acting on behalf of both public and private landowners and occupiers across the UK and focuses on value optimisation, meeting clients’ objectives and business drivers through balancing risk and reward.

Kathryn House

Pacific Communications Director, CBRE

Kathryn joined CBRE in 2007 following a 15-year career in property journalism working for some of Australia's leading newspapers, including the Australian Financial Review and the Sydney Morning Herald. She works closely with CBRE’s CEO and senior executive team to promote the company’s brand, platform and corporate values.

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