Lang Walker to build Australia’s largest office tower

Lang Walker to build Australia’s largest office tower

19 April 2019

Billionaire developer Lang Walker has trumped rival developers to secure a major government tenancy that will allow him to build the nation’s largest office tower in Parramatta, says the AFR.

Walker Corporation’s new 6 Parramatta Square development will house 4,200 public servants after Property NSW took out a 12-year lease, with two further five-year options, for 43,800 square metres of office space starting in 2021.

Marketed as Australia’s biggest office project, Walker’s $3.2 billion Parramatta Square development comprises four towers, with the whole precinct due to be completed by 2022.

Two joined towers valued at $1.7 billion—6 and 8 Parramatta Square—will become the largest commercial office tower in Australia comprising 125,000 square metres, exceeding even the largest Barangaroo tower.

The two new towers were given the green light by Sydney Central City Planning Panel just before Christmas.

“Parramatta Square is taking shape quickly and the total project is now 75 per cent pre-leased with over 170,000 square metres of high-quality office space committed,” Mr Walker said.

“We expect to experience a strong flow of pre-leases off the back of the two anchor tenants signing long-term leases in the project, which is one of the largest urban renewal projects in the country and will see Parramatta city rival Sydney’s CBD in terms of amenity and high-quality commercial space,” he added.

Walker has also snared financial services group Link Market Services, which will shift from its Sydney corporate offices from Rhodes to Parramatta Square in 2021.

Towers 3 and 4 are fully pre-committed and under construction, with tenants including the National Australia Bank and other NSW departments, says The Australian.

The new government commitment for Towers 6 and 8 makes their construction feasible, with building expected get under way within the next year.

The Parramatta CBD has the lowest vacancy rate of any office market in Australia and is benefiting from infrastructure projects, including light rail, a future rapid transit metro, the new Parramatta stadium and Powerhouse Museum, Mr Walker said.

As well as the university campus and commercial buildings, the mixed-use precinct includes retail space, community facilities, a civic building, community centre, library and a 250-metre-long public domain.

The western Sydney hub has been singled out as a key part of the future development of Sydney under plans unveiled in 2016 by the Greater Sydney Commission.

A broader wave of redevelopment is under way in Parramatta, attracting developers and spurring the market in commercial real estate such as GPT’s $277.6 million acquisition of the Eclipse tower from super fund Rest in August 2018.

Also last year, Charter Hall teamed up again with Western Sydney University with plans to develop a $280 million education and commercial office project at Parramatta.

The country’s largest office landlord, Dexus, returned to the Parramatta market last year, gaining approval to develop a $500 million building. The 33-storey tower at 140 George Street will deliver 45,700 square metres of space.