Coombes, Mirvac Lodge Plans for $1bn Apartment Skyscraper


Coombes Property Group and its joint venture partner Mirvac have lodged a second stage application with the City of Sydney for a 500-plus apartment skyscraper in Sydney’s CBD.

The 80-storey building has an end value of $1 billion and is set to be Sydney’s tallest apartment tower after Coombes secured approval to amend the 150-metre height limit allowed on the site in 2015.

German firm Ingenhoven and Architectus won the design competition for the 270-metre tower in July last year.

The Sydney-based developer and investor acquired the 505-523 George Street site in 2014 for $85 million, entering into a joint venture arrangement with Mirvac.

Mirvac will manage the development of the skyscraper, which will cost an estimated $692 million, while Coombes will retain ownership of the tower—providing it with portfolio diversification outside of retail and office assets, the group said.

The application outlines plans to demolish the 6-storey Event Cinemas complex on the 4,308sq m site, building a 270-metre skyscraper above a podium which will incorporate retail, childcare, conference facilities, a serviced apartment lobby and residential lobby.

A 15:1 floor space ratio will allow for 51,862sq m of residential development and 13,441sq m of commercial and retail space. The project will yield 507 apartments across a mix of studio, one, two and three-bedroom apartments with eight levels of basement car parking.

505 George Street.
▲ The George Street podium entry will contain a through-site link to Kent Street.

The lodgement comes soon after neighbour, ASX-listed hospitality giant Event Hospitality, submitted plans for a 43-storey apartment and hotel tower at 525 George Street. Event’s $225 million proposal includes an Events-branded cinemas and a cinema complex lobby facing George Street.

Event’s 1,858sq m site is integrated with the existing 6-storey Events Cinema building at 505 George Street, although neither Coombes, Mirvac or Event have confirmed the construction timetable of their respective projects.

Architectus’ and Ingenhoven’s winning scheme for 505 George Street—which beat out shortlisted firms Fjmt and Bates Smart, Foster + Partners, Wilkinson Eyre and SOM and Crone—is based on a “friendly neighbour” design philosophy, architect Christoph Ingenhoven said.

“The urban design approach [offers] a well-connected and stimulating public domain that is highly integrated with the existing surroundings and acts as a catalyst to enhance the amenity of the precinct,” Ingenhoven said.

The scheme was awarded the “best tall building” award at the 2019 MIPIM-Architectural Review future project awards and is shortlisted at the 2019 World Architecture Festival in December.

If approved, demolition works on 505 George Street are expected to commence next year.

505 George Street.
▲ Event's proposal (pictured left) will neighbour Coombes' tower (right) above the existing Event Cinemas site on George Street.
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