Ground has been broken on construction of the latest office tower to start as part of a multi-billion dollar urban renewal project set to revitalise the capital city of Perth in Western Australia.

The groundbreaking ceremony for the Kings Square Four building was held earlier this week.

Set to be occupied by Perth-based health insurance provider HBF (which also owns the building), the new tower is the fourth to be developed by Leighton Properties under its King Square project – a Masterplanned precinct located within the $5.2 billion Perth City Link precinct which will create an extension of King Street linking St George Terrace to Wellington Street.

Upon completion, KS4 will house around 600 staff and provide approximately 20,000 square metres of net lettable area, including 13,000 square metres of office space over 10 levels, and will also feature 89 bike racks, lockers and showers as well as 49 car parks with five motorbike bays.

Leighton is targeting a 5 Star Green Star – Office Design V3 rating from the Green Building Council of Australia for the new building as well as a 5 Star NABERS Energy rating.

All told, the Kings Square project will feature seven office towers and 520 apartments as well as bars, restaurants, shops and community spaces.

The first four buildings are set to be completed by mid-2015 and will house around 4,000 workers.

The project is a significant component of the larger $5.2 billion Perth CityLink development, which will extend from Perth Station to the new Perth Arena and will reconnect the city centre with Northbridge for the first time in more than 100 years.

Western Australia Planning Minister John Day says the start of work on KS4 represents another milestone in a project which has buy-in not just from HCF but also from Shell Australia, Dexus Property Group and John Holland, who will occupy the three towers on which work has already commenced.

Day says Kings Square is one of a number of precincts opened up by early rail works as part of CityLink involving the sinking of the Freemantle Line between William Street and Lake/King Street (scheduled for completion early next year) followed by construction of an underground bus station beneath Wellington Street.

“The sinking of the rail line is the first step in the transformation of the CBD,” he said. “It opens the way for the offices, apartments, shops, community spaces, restaurants, cafes, a child care centre and gym that will follow.”

Day says that overall, the CityLink project will generate around $4 billion in private investment and accommodate more than 13,500 workers.

He says the project sits beside others, including Elizabeth Quay, Fiona Stanley Hospital, the new children’s hospital, Riverside, the new Perth Stadium and the WA museum, which will transform the city and generate billions in new private investment and generate thousands of new jobs.

The new tower was designed by the Cox Design Group.