HPG Australia’s Barney Oros on One Sydney Park

When Barney Oros joined HPG Australia as development director in 2015, he brought with him many years of experience across a range of residential development building types and a sensitivity to precinct planning in urban areas.

Oros is responsible for the delivery of the group’s flagship project in Australia, One Sydney Park, a mixed-use 400 apartment project nestled within the sanctuary of the 44-hectare Sydney Park in Alexandria, the city’s third largest inner city park.

“HPG is humbled to have the opportunity to redevelop One Sydney Park, it is a true privilege to be entrusted by the City of Sydney and its constituents to reshape and breathe new life into a sleepy, neglected corner of Alexandria in order to create an amazingly vibrant, warm and inviting new environment for everyone who will call One Sydney Park home,” Oros said.

“We believe it’s a game-changer for the city of Sydney from an urban planning and design perspective, and we believe that Sydneysiders, and particularly inner-west families, first home buyers, pet-owners and downsizers, will really respond to our offering.”

The $700 million One Sydney Park is set to launch to market this November.

[Related reading: Approval Granted for Lifestyle and Cultural Precinct on Sydney Park Fringe; Sydney Fringe Festival Announces 2017 Program at the ‘HPG Hub’; Sydney Park Stage One Redevelopment Plans Unveiled]

TUD: Who is HPG Australia? How are they different to other developers?

Hailiang Property Group, or HPG Australia as it operates in Australia, is an extraordinary company with an extraordinary outlook. Although it’s a large international privately-owned company with deep financial backing, it’s a very personal company. People and the connection of communities is at the heart of everything the company stands for.

HPG is representative of the future here in Australia in terms of the property development sector. It has the strength and global experience one would expect from a company that has say three times the market capitalisation of other major Australian development firms – and that’s just the property development part of Hailiang. It also has a dynamism and social conscience which is embodied by the younger executives within the company.

Although it’s only been operating in Australia a short time, HPG has already developed a workplace culture that is very much like a family. There’s genuine care for the team’s wellbeing and a noticeable, very genuine collective desire to deliver the very best outcomes. Our approach to the design process of One Sydney Park in inviting only tier one practices, is demonstrative of this.

Hp

The HPG Australia team

I think the best way to describe HPG is as a company with a global outlook and an incredibly conscientious and considered approach to building communities. A local team of well-experienced and professionals of extensive expertise form part of the HPG One Sydney Park team.

As our first project in Sydney, we are investing heavily in One Sydney Park in terms of inviting the very best designers to work with us to deliver something truly exceptional for the inner-west community.

How many development companies can you name that have donated the use of their site to the local community, and further contributed financially and by way of resources, whilst planning approval is sought. HPG has authentically connected to the local community through the Sydney Fringe Festival, we have donated the use of a 7,000sq m warehouse, and provided funds to enliven this space so lacking in the inner-west where free space is a rarity.

We would encourage other developers and property owners to do the same and engage with their local community with such a valuable commodity in Sydney – space. 

A huge vacant warehouse space at One Sydney Park, gifted by HPG Australia, was used as the headquarters for the Sydney Fringe Festival held in September 2017

TUD: What is HPG aiming to deliver at One Sydney Park?

A game changer, in so many ways.

We recognise that Sydney-siders have an obsession with development projects, and that sophistication is only increasing in terms of what people demand in a new destination. We have set out to become a thought leader in the way development should be headed.

Our intention is that One Sydney Park will be considered the best example of how to create a new community which sits within an existing wider community. All whilst embracing its place within Sydney Park.

Our intention is to create a “destination”, revered by the local community, enjoyed by local residents, a place which brings Sydney Park into a built form, enhancing the profile of Sydney Park’s beautiful parkland and in all, providing a unique and exclusive lifestyle experience, unparalleled in Sydney.

Quite simply, One Sydney Park is set to become one of Sydney’s most liveable and desirable residential precincts, incorporating world-class architecture, spectacular bespoke interiors, thought-provoking public art, curated ground level retail, and an abundance of green spaces and common areas.

The development is enveloped on three sides by the landscape-designed public parkland and recreational space of Sydney Park, which holds strong cultural heritage and importance for thousands of Sydney families. It will be Sydney’s only inner-city residential community to be embedded within a large-scale park environment and as such, will never have other developments neighbouring it.

Connectivity and seamless integration with nature lies at the heart of the project. HPG is committed to establishing a precinct that cohesively aligns itself with Sydney Park and its award-winning landscaping and ecological preservation strategies to ensure that One Sydney Park complements its outstanding surrounds in every way and also embraces the local arts community.

TUD: Why is One Sydney Park so unique?

One Sydney Park is one of those projects that only comes around once in a generation. The site itself is set within the massively popular and much loved 44-hectare public park, Sydney Park, a City of Sydney park that is the recipient of numerous international awards for landscape design. This in itself cements Sydney Park and indeed One Sydney Park, as a unique address and destination for a city of the size and population of Sydney.

We believe it’s the only residential community in Australia where residents will have a park of that size literally on their doorstep.

To that end, we intend for Sydney Park to embrace the mind-body-spirit type ethos which people are already instilling into their lives on so many levels. We believe “how you live” should be integrated into “where you live” and being set within Sydney Park presents a very rare opportunity to show others how it can be done.

One Sydney Park will include a carefully-curated retail precinct featuring boutique, specialty retailers and providores such as organic wholefood retailers, high-end fresh food producers as well as restaurants and cafes.

It will also include amenities for mindfulness and meditation for psychological as well as physical wellbeing. This seems obvious given its location, but you would be surprised how unique this is proving to be.

Sydney is a global city which contributes around 30 per cent of Australia’s GDP. We are a very busy city which works very hard on a global scale. HPG believes that your home should provide you with an opportunity to provide balance, re-charge the mind, body and soul. One Sydney Park will be an exemplar development in terms of social and environmental connection to your local community.

TUD: What has the design process involved?

Our designers – architects, interiors and landscape – will play a pivotal role in giving confidence to the outcome on this site.

The winning architects have been selected based on their submission of a design that meets HPG’s expectations and development protocols, providing the buyer with a strong confidence in innovation, quality and reliability – and perhaps above all else, individuality of thought.

The selection of the winning architect was achieved via a panel of industry stakeholders, representatives of the City of Sydney and one representative from HPG.

TUD: What is the status of the One Sydney Park project?

As we will announce our winning architectural team imminently, we are now fully committed to bringing the first release of new residences to the market.

The initial offering to purchasers comprises a collection of approximately 80-100 premium properties including: a mix of, one, two and three-bedroom apartments priced from $765,000; 12 three-bedroom penthouses in addition to 24 two-storey three-bedroom townhouses priced from $2.2 million. We are currently accepting registrations of interest and will commence sales in the latter half of November. The stage one masterplan of the project is fully DA approved.

TUD: Why the name One Sydney Park?

The fact that this site stands in isolation from all angles, the fact there is only one residential community within Sydney Park, the project kind of named itself.

It was also fitting for a new iconic, landmark development to join other iconic projects such as One Central Park, One Sydney Harbour, One Circular Quay, and dare I say One Hyde Park London – people will recognise One Sydney Park in that ilk, as a project of design excellence unlike any other.

TUD: Did HPG realise WestConnex was going to be built when they acquired the Sydney Park site from Goodman?

Yes, we did. We were fully aware that the WestConnex project was planned and approximately one kilometre away would be the St Peters entry and exit point for the WestConnex intersection — we fully embraced the opportunities this presents.

With so many large-scale infrastructure projects commencing as of late including Sydney Metro, WestConnex and Sydney Light Rail – Sydneysiders will soon be able to enjoy the connectivity that these significant infrastructure upgrades will deliver to the greater community.

One Sydney Park residents will appreciate the future value offered by WestConnex as it allows ease of access to Greater Sydney whilst enjoying luxurious inner-city park-side living. With construction of the Euston Road section of WestConnex scheduled to complete simultaneously with One Sydney Park, residents will be moving in to a new apartment in this exciting newly gentrified location whilst avoiding the inconveniences of the road works.

Careful planning and consideration of the nearby WestConnex infrastructure influenced our approach to this landmark development’s final completion schedule. Our project philosophy is such that the development will not be delivered in stages as buildings are finished, but as a fully-completed residential precinct that matches up with completion of the Euston Road section of new infrastructure.

Unlike other developments close by, we feel that a finished project for all homeowners is paramount – not a staged move-in process where the first residents live in an incomplete construction site. From day one, you are able to enjoy all of the privacy, peace and quiet of park-side living whilst being closely connected to Greater Sydney.

TUD: There has been some speculation that the site should have been returned to the City of Sydney to be made into more public parkland. Was this a possibility?

There actually was an opportunity many years ago, where the City of Sydney had the opportunity to acquire the site from one of several previous owners. Council elected not to acquire the site, so the opportunity was left open for other parties to purchase the land. We secured the site from Goodman Group in 2015, and the existing zoning allowed for residential mixed-use, and it seems the council envisaged a residential use given its zoning.

Most people don’t realise that Fedex and Kone Elevators have occupied the space for many years running a 24/7 – 365 days-a-year logistics facility from there. There are very large, pre-existing warehouses, which are aesthetically very unattractive – precast concrete tilt-up panels, and a large volume of heavy vehicles that were constantly accessing the site.

TUD: So, what’s next for HPG and One Sydney Park?

For One Sydney Park, we are so excited to be able to launch in 2017, a very limited number of homes, including garden terraces, and one, two and three bedroom apartments. We will also outline the amenities for One Sydney Park which is just as exciting.

For HPG, we are actively seeking out similar opportunities to deliver landmark, game-changing projects, in the mixed-use space, but also in master planning greenfield locations. We also see ourselves as agents of change and thought leadership in the retirement living and in the education sectors, given our global experience, especially in education.

It’s a brave new world and like it or not Sydney is very much in focus on a global scale. Australians are renowned for punching above our weight in so many disciplines, including design and architecture, we want to continue that tradition to its logical conclusion – throughout the overall development.

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