Australian infrastructure giant Lendlease has signed on global design and engineering firm Arup as the first tenant for the first tower to be developed under the $1.9bn Melbourne Quarter project.

The first tower is to be termed as One Melbourne Quarter and will be developed as a 25,000m² next generation office building.

The Melbourne Quarter scheme comprises seven commercial and residential buildings and will be bordered by two of the city’s iconic streets, Collins and Flinders.

It has been planned to be directly across Southern Cross Station and construction is expected to start in early 2016.

"This is a unique opportunity that will deliver state of the art facilities and services for their most valuable asset, their people."

One Melbourne Quarter is expected to have a sixstar Green Star office rating, Lendlease said.

It will feature flexible future-generation workplace design with floor plates of 2,000m² or more.

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Lendlease Urban Regeneration managing director Jonathan Emery said, "This is a unique opportunity that will deliver state of the art facilities and services for their most valuable asset, their people.

"The design of One Melbourne Quarter includes flexible and efficient workspaces and the broader project will offer Arup employees a healthy, exemplar workplace and access to a vibrant mix of Collins Street amenity and innovative open spaces. Its location will equate to a premium user experience unmatched in Melbourne.

"The vision we have for Melbourne Quarter is to use the scale and topography of the site, and propel its uniquely accessible and unmatched location to its rightful place in the new commercial heart of the world’s most liveable city."

Arup Melbourne office leader Joseph Correnza said, "Together with Lendlease, we have brought our shared design aspirations to this landmark precinct through what has been a truly collaborative design process between Lendlease, Arup and Denton Corker Marshall.

"Fundamental to this is our drive to bring key sustainability, wellbeing and construction efficiencies through an integrated building design, setting the standard for smart construction, in turn making this a benchmark project for both Australia and overseas."