$3.7 billion facelift for Circular Quay

$3.7 billion facelift for Circular Quay

28 July 2017

One of Australia’s most iconic skylines, Sydney’s Circular Quay, is experiencing a $3.7 billion building renaissance that will transform the precinct into one of the most modern cityscapes in the world, says the Australian Financial Review.

Australia’s global development giant Lendlease, AMP Capital and China’s Wanda—owned by China’s richest man Wang Jianlin—are providing most of the funds to drive the development.

The centrepiece of the new world class precinct will be Lendlease’s $1.5 billion Circular Quay Tower at 180 George Street.

When completed, the 263-metre tower become the tallest office building in Sydney. The cutting-edge design also includes a low-rise community building, two public plazas, a network of multi-level laneways lined with shops, cafes, and bars.

“The tower will … reshape the northern end of the CBD into a vibrant community contributing to Sydney’s status as a global city,” said Mr Evenden, senior executive of Foster + Partners, the architectural firm designing the building.

Directly next to Circular Quay, AMP Capital is investing $3 billion in the landmark Quay Quarter development, which will see several heritage buildings upgraded and the construction of a sleek new office tower at 50 Bridge Street, says The Australian.

The 49-floor Quay Quarter Tower is set to deliver 90,000 square metres of the best office space in Australia, say industry experts, and will be home to AMP’s global headquarters.

The proposed 49-floor tower at 50 Bridge Street sports a dramatic design by lead architects, Denmark’s 3XN—a series of shifting glass volumes stacked on top of each other that will make it stand out among the wave of skyscrapers being developed in the CBD.

AMPs development also includes three luxury buildings at Loftus Lane that house 106 apartments all of which have already sold.

Two other major residential developments at Circular Quay, Landream’s Opera Residences and Wanda’s Residential Tower at the Gold Fields House site, represent about $400 million in construction invested by Chinese consortiums—the biggest and most active of foreign buyers seeking luxury apartments in Australia.

Opera Residences has reportedly already received $26 million for an off the plan sale of its penthouse apartment.

Beyond the major commercial and residential developments at the base of Circular Quay, the state government has commissioned several infrastructure projects, including a new light rail.

“The introduction of light rail and transformation of George Street provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to re-work Circular Quay as our foremost cultural hub, while also being the city’s grand entry point,” declared Sydney’s Lord Mayor Clover Moore.

Other proposals include removing the Cahill Expressway to improve access and views to the harbour, renewing the public square in front of Customs House, and better connecting public art, museums, galleries, theatres, and other creative institutions along the harbour foreshore.

The changes at Circular Quay will complement other dramatic changes taking place at Barangaroo, a 2.2-kilometre Lendlease development on the other side of Miller’s Point. You can read about those changes here.