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Blake Dawson Waldron to remain at Grosvenor Place

25 July 2001

Commonwealth Property Fund (CPF) today announced that Blake Dawson Waldron (BDW), has agreed to extend its lease at Grosvenor Place, Sydney, until 2011.

CPF owns 70 per cent of Grosvenor Place in joint venture with BT Office Trust (BTO).

In addition to the existing area of 12,025 sqm, BDW will expand into a further 3,764 sqm taking the total area to 15,789 sqm which represents 19 per cent of the total tower.

As a result, the building's weighted average lease expiry by area will move from 3.3 years to 4.8 years.

According to CPF's fund manager, Mr Rod Cowdroy, the leasing deal ends widespread speculation that the top tier law firm would exit the space in favour of a new development in the Sydney CBD.

"We are delighted with this result as it not only ends a lengthy and exhausting negotiation but also reinforces Grosvenor Place's position as a leading premium grade office tower in the Sydney market," Mr Cowdroy said.

"Our commercial portfolio manager, Jason Ferris and his team, are constantly focused on positioning our assets and working with existing tenants to seek future benefits for them and our investors - this deal bears testimony to this philosophy.

"We worked with BDW in Melbourne to secure their future position at 101 Collins Street, which resulted in mutual benefits to both parties, and we expect Grosvenor Place to bear similar results," Mr Cowdroy said.

BTO asset manager, Mr Damian Fitzpatrick, agreed the deal was mutually beneficial allowing Grosvenor Place to secure a major tenancy while providing BDW with sufficient flexibility to refit its existing space and to expand in the future.

Mr Les Koltai, Partner at BDW, commented that Grosvenor Place management put forward a very competitive business case.

"They sealed the deal by offering us the flexibility we require to manage our space requirements over the period of the lease," Mr Koltai said.

CPF is a fixed life unlisted property fund comprising $2.4 billion in retail and office assets, with unitholders including major superannuation funds.

CPF is part of Colonial First State Property, a new property group which brings together the Commonwealth Bank's property division, Commonwealth Property, and the property funds management operations of the Colonial First State Group of companies, which is 100 per owned by Commonwealth Bank.

The combined property funds under management total $11 billion.

In Australia funds under management include two listed property trusts, seven pooled wholesale funds, three investment mandates and the Bank's own portfolio of real estate. Colonial First State Property is also responsible for the management of a listed property trust in New Zealand.