GPT, AMP Reveal $891m Cockle Bay Wharf Tower


Cockle Bay Park, a $891-million landmark mixed-use tower development, is a step closer to rising on the Sydney CBD skyline.

New details of the waterfront project by GPT Group and AMP Capital in the heart of the city’s Darling Harbour precinct have been unveiled and put out for public exhibition.

The proposed 43-level tower—with 75,000sq m of office space as well as 14,000sq m of podium-level retail gross floor area—is touted as a transformative redevelopment for the harbourside precinct.

It is earmarked for a 2.2ha site owned by the New South Wales government that encompasses the existing Cockle Bay Wharf, parts of the Western Distributor, Wheat Road, Pyrmont Bridge and Darling Park.

Designed by Danish architecture firm Henning Larsen, together with Architectus and McGregor Coxall, a state-significant development application has been submitted for the project.

In the documents, the planned 183-metre tall tower is described as “a contextually rich and striking design that will be recognisable in the city skyline” with a facade divided into "distinguished 'blocks' that transition upwards into a series of tall and slender building volumes”.

“The four-segment composition of the tower makes it possible to accommodate more than one anchor tenant, with each anchor tenant having the possibility to acquire its own exclusive lift lobby in the lower levels,” the plans revealed.

▲ GPT and AMP Capital's ambitious $891-million Cockle Bay proposal will connect the Western Distributor to Sydney's CBD.
▲ GPT and AMP Capital's ambitious $891-million Cockle Bay proposal will connect the Western Distributor to Sydney's CBD.

Outdoor terraces are proposed on seven levels of the tower, providing opportunities for landscaping. The terraces will cater for passive outdoor activities such as meetings, lunch breaks and social events.

A wellness centre is also accommodated in the plans in an area that also includes end-of-trip facilities.

One of the key design elements of the redevelopment is the integration of public realm and the proposal aims to offer “a number of significant social and economic benefits”.

“The development will deliver high quality commercial and retail floor space in the heart of Darling Harbour, a key tourism centre for Sydney, contributing to Sydney’s global tourist status,” the planning documents said.

"It will contribute to the revitalisation of Darling Harbour ... (and) represents a rare opportunity to increase open space in the high-density inner-city area, where opportunities to deliver new public parks are limited".

A new landbridge across the Western Distributor between Cockle Bay and Darling Park will provide more than 6500sq m of publicly accessible open space and is designed to “contribute to mending the existing disconnect between Darling Harbour and Central Sydney”

“The Western Distributor rips through the heart of Sydney, but this proposal seeks to resolve that with significant new public space to create new pedestrian connections between the city centre and one of Sydney’s most popular tourist destinations,” NSW Minister for Planning and Public Spaces, Rob Stokes, said.

He said Darling Harbour contributed $1.2 billion a year to the state’s economy and, before Covid, hosted over 15 million visitors every year.

“This project is a huge vote of confidence in the future of the Sydney CBD. It will create 3500 construction jobs and once completed will be home to 7000 jobs.

“There will be new waterfront shops, restaurants and bars that will inject new life into this beautiful part of the city for future generations to come,” Stokes said.

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