Dexus, Frasers Progress $2.5bn Tech Hub Plans


Plans have been lodged with the City of Sydney for a long-awaited $2.5 billion commercial project in Sydney's emerging Tech Central precinct.

The joint proposal by the country’s largest office landlord, Dexus, and the local arm of Singaporean property powerhouse Frasers comprises 130,000sq m of A-grade space across two towers of 35 and 37-levels, and a podium building.

In August, the development put forward plans for the third and final stage of the NSW government’s unsolicited proposal process after Dexus and Frasers joined forces over buildings they own at Henry Deane Plaza on Lee Street.

Shortly after architects Fender Katsalidis and Skidmore, Owings and Merrill were selected as the project’s design team following an virtually-held international design competition.

The development, dubbed Central Place, will feature the latest sustainability initiatives, with rooftop community spaces and vertical gardens for occupants, and will be powered by 100 per cent renewable energy.

The Dexus-Frasers proposal will also invest in improving the public realm around Central Station.

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A key element of the application is an underground facility for essential services which will allow future over-station development and facilitate the renewal of Central Station.

Central Place Sydney project director Kimberley Jackson said the development would rejuvenate Central Station as one of the key gateways to the CBD.

“Central Place Sydney is a city-shaping development that will attract some of the best innovation and technology businesses to Sydney,” Jackson said.

“The connectivity of the site to Australia’s busiest interchange, Central Station, and links to the neighbourhoods of Surry Hills, Chippendale, Eveleigh, Haymarket and Darling Harbour will contribute to a vibrant destination supporting Sydney’s 24-hour economy.”

The commercial project is the latest landmark development to emerge from the state government’s unsolicited proposal process at Sydney’s so-called “Silicon Valley” which encompasses 24ha across the station’s tracks at the southern end of the CBD.

The controversial unsolicited proposals scheme has allowed Dexus, which controls large swathes of long-term leaseholds within the western gateway sub-precinct of the government-planned hub, to submit plans for development without a traditional call for tender.

▲ Artists impression of the proposed Central Place project in Sydney. Image: Fender Katsalidis, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

Dexus and Frasers’ properties are held under long-term leases, with 14 Lee Street held by Dexus and its Office Partner, and 20 Lee Street and 26 Lee Street held by Frasers Property Australia.

The recently approved rezoning of the area to the western edge of the station has now enabled the construction of buildings up to 206 metres high—compared with 35 metres previously—as well as a major increase in office space.

Subject to Frasers Property Australia and Dexus securing the relevant approvals, construction is targeted to commence in 2022, with the first stage of the project expected to be delivered in 2025.

The project is anticipated to create 700 jobs in construction and will accommodate more than 10,000 jobs once realised.

It will sit next to another ambitious plan for the precinct, a $1-billion-plus, 50-storey concrete and timber tower slated to be home-grown tech giant Atlassian’s new home.

Dexus secured a 50 per cent stake in that project in September, beating rival commercial property investor ISPT to the dotted line.

The Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar-founded Atlassian has selected Built to construct the innovative tower, following a three-way tender with Multiplex and Lendlease.


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