Developers Propose Two-Tower Project for The Rocks


Submissions have been opened to the public for the proposed mixed use development located at 75-85 Harrington Street, The Rocks.

The two buildings of six and 10 metres are set to include a mix of retail, commercial office space, a courtyard and 65 residential apartments featuring one, two and three-bedroom options plus penthouses, and a three-level basement car park.

Developers have applied to have the maximum building height restrictions at the site increased by as much as nine metres, which would result in the development reaching 50 metres at its highest point.

The 7800 sqm building at 85 Harrington Street was secured in 2014 for $50 million by Melbourne-based developer Golden Age and Sydney-based engineering firm Hannas Group as they announced their first joint acquisition and plans for the site. Public submissions close September 16. 

According to the development proposal, demolition of the existing 1980s ‘Harrington Court’ building on the site, and the excavation of the site to provide up to two levels of basement parking. ƒ Retention of the existing heritage buildings known as the ‘Baker’s Terraces’, and internal alterations and additions to accommodate up to 4 residential apartments, and a commercial/retail/food and beverage tenancy in the lower level of the building opening out onto the central courtyard area. ƒ

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The construction of a new development comprising three separate building elements located above up to two levels of basement parking to accommodate: ¾ Ground level retail/food and beverage tenancies fronting Harrington Street, Cumberland Place Steps, the courtyard to the rear of the Bakers Terraces, and fronting part of Gloucester Street, ¾ up to 75 residential apartments within two buildings:

  1. A 6 storey block located on the northern portion of the site fronting Harrington Street and Cumberland Place Steps, and;
  2.  A part 9 and part 10 storey block on the remaining area of the site which will have frontages to both Harrington Street and Gloucester Street, ¾ Commercial office floor space over 7 levels and contained in a separate building element located at the southern edge of the site.

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Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp Architects (fjmt) was selected as the preferred concept as part the competitive design process held during October and November 2014.
Location and Precinct
Located within the iconic Rocks precinct, the site is nestled in between Gloucester and Harrington Streets. The Cahill Expressway borders the southern edge of the site with Cambridge Street extending through the northern third of the site. The surrounding development is reflective of the historic character of the area, with terrace housing fronting the streetscapes.

In the North East corner of the site is the Baker’s Terraces, built in 1875 and state heritage listed, they currently have commercial use.

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Central to the landscape scheme is the Cumberland Place Courtyard.

Located at the southern end of Cambridge Street between the Bakers Terrace, Block 1 and Block 2 of the Main Building the courtyard provides the development with an activated outdoor plaza that provides a retail and passive recreation opportunity as an extension to the existing pedestrianised laneway network that meanders through The Rocks. Designed as a split level linear space.
Pedestrian links and lifts
A key element of the proposal is the development of a new pedestrian link to the south of the site. This will occupy the lots that are currently vacant. A lift located on Harrington Street will provide disabled access to the footpath along the Cahill Expressway. The proposal includes a public lift to be located south of the site on Harrington Street. The lift will provide equitable access for disabled persons from Harrington Street to the Cahill Expressway.

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