Advertising firm Clemenger Group will lease all of the office space in the former David Jones menswear building in Melbourne’s Bourke Street mall.  

Newmark Capital said it was the first major company to announce a relocation into Melbourne’s CBD following the COVID-19 restrictions, in a significant boost to efforts to revitalise the city. 

Clemenger Group’s Melbourne-based companies and sister companies under the Omnicom Media Group umbrella will occupy 7,500 sqm of office space, accommodating up to 900 staff.  

“These attractive, flexible and high technology workspaces will nurture creativity and collaboration across the Clemenger Group,” Clemenger Group CEO Les Timar said. 

Clemenger Group chairman Robert Morgan said it was exciting for the group to return to its birthplace in Melbourne’s CBD.  

The company founders opened John Clemenger Advertising in the basement of a building in Bourke Street in 1946. 

299 Bourke Street Melbourne (2)

“This is an endorsement of Newmark’s vision for 299 Bourke, and our belief in the ongoing demand for quality office space which is focused on providing a premium work environment for staff,” General Manager of Property at Newmark Capital Angus Machutchison said. 

“Our vision for this iconic building is inspired by the original architecture and preserves 299 Bourke Street’s history while adding premium retail spaces and offices that are true workplaces of the future.” 

The office tenancy follows the announcement by Mecca Brands to open their new Australian flagship in 299 Bourke.  

Rodd and Gunn have also announced that their Melbourne experiential flagship store will be on the Little Collins Street side of the building. 

Machutchison said the building was now approximately 90% pre-leased to premium grade retail and office tenants prior to the refurbishment works commencing. 

“This mix of functionality, convenience and attractiveness is crucial to attracting workers back to offices and business districts,” Machutchison said.  

Architects Bates Smart have redesigned 299 Bourke Street, enhancing the historic Bourke Street Mall frontage with a stylish shopfront, upgraded canopies and glazed facade, sympathetic to the existing heritage fabric.  

Clemenger Group’s offices on the upper levels will be accessed by a dedicated office lobby at 280 Little Collins Street. 

Colliers and JLL were the office leasing agents on the project.