As landlords look to the future and for greater returns on investment, the ability to provide prospective tenants with turnkey options that are flexible and conducive to a multitude of business types and vocations is key to greater and faster occupancy rates.

We proudly introduce ‘Better Built’, a mini-series by McCormack and our team that allows us to shed light on the finer design decisions, humbly discuss any challenges and share our collective learnings to improve our communities. In these entries, we will look back at the successes, the people and the things that made them happen.


Designed in 1971, the building at 71 Palmerston Crescent holds on to its late-modernist exterior styling while undergoing an impressive interior overhaul.  Featuring an entirely new lobby and amenities upgrade, McCormack’s work also included a total reworking of the end-of-trip facilities and the design and development of spec suites on levels 1, 2 and 3.

Working with award-winning Sibling Architecture, the benefit of excellent communication and clear processes meant that the development of the site was able to be completed in the most turbulent of times.

“Following the process was an absolute key driver for success on this project. Due to the market conditions at the time, the budget for the project changed, and we had to be nimble from the offset,” says Michael Painter, McCormack National Head – Strategic partnerships and Sales, leaving the team and all associated stakeholders to collaborate within workshop environments to achieve the very best results.

“Sibling were great to work with; they were fantastic communicators. They’re solution-driven, while flexible with the client and malleable enough to achieve the desired result,” says Painter.

Completed in 2022, and under the difficult stop-start conditions of late COVID-19, 71 Palmerston did make one thing abundantly clear, working together, being flexible and putting in the work at the beginning delivers results. “Without it, and more than any other time, being able and willing to explore new options pays off,” reiterates Painter.

Because of the pressures of time and the client’s particular vision, the team also had to find ways to achieve the design goals of the project and the optimisation of the space whilst being mindful of costs. This would influence our focus on production and construction, on what trades could overlap and how we could take advantage of these efficiencies.

“It’s all about the upfront work and early contractor involvement, ensuring time and money is saved during the build. I can confidently say that on this project, we achieved that,” says Painter.

McCormack’s work on 71 Palmerston Crescent brought a dated and faded building in South Melbourne into the 21st century, expressing Vantage Property Investments’ greatest wishes whilst performing a perfect asset repositioning and modern transformation during the most difficult of times. Contemporary and practical, the results speak for themselves.

“They [Vantage] are great clients. Open to suggestions, solution orientated – which makes our job easier – always coming to a resolution,” says Painter.

This piece is part of an ongoing series discussing the design, challenges and learnings of individual McCormack projects. In these entries, we will look back at the successes, the people and the things that made them happen. Watch this space for more to come.