North Sydney Skyscraper Breaks Ground


Construction has started on a $1.2 billion commercial tower rising to 42 storeys above the future Victoria Cross metro station in North Sydney.

It’s one of several lucrative metro station developments planned across Sydney.

Lendlease won the rights to develop the station and the 42-storey office tower above it in 2018, knocking out bids from rivals Dexus and Charter Hall in the process.

Its Bates Smart-designed proposal, which was fast-tracked and approved in July, will include about 58,000sq m of office as well as basement car parking with 150 spaces.

The project will include a three-storey retail podium and a dining and entertainment strip on Miller Street, with the main entrance to be located at the corner of Berry and Miller streets, and a northern entrance on McLaren Street.

“Around the world, people are increasingly demanding workplaces that have outstanding sustainability and digital credentials, are linked to public transport, and are stitched into the local community,” Lendlease head of integrated transport development Jeheon Son said.

“[This] new development will respond to these demands.”

Lendlease’s commencement of works follows the recent laying of the first tracks on the Sydney Metro City and Southwest line.

The metro system, which will feature 31 stations including new stations in the heart of Sydney’s CBD at Barangaroo, Martin Place, Pitt Street and Central Station, is expected to be up and running in 2024.

$1.2bn Victoria Cross Development Under Way
▲ Cox Architecture designed the station and Aspect Studios designed the project's public domain.

Stations have also been planned across the 66km standalone metro railway system at Westmead, Parramatta, Sydney Olympic Park, North Strathfield, Burwood North, Five Dock and The Bays Precinct,

At peak, it will be able to carry about 40,000 people per hour, almost double the 24,000 people the current suburban rail network carries.

Tunnelling completed on the metro component of the development, 60m below street level, in late 2019 with station fit-out works on the Victoria Cross station, which will span four levels underground, now underway.

When completed the tower will be home to up to 7000 office workers, and has been designed to adapt to the changing work environment, prioritising sustainability, health and social connection.

The North Sydney project is targeting Platinum WELL and 6-star Green Star rating.

Early last year, Lendlease sold a 25 per cent interest to one of its wholesale unlisted property trusts, APPF Commercial, in a $300 million deal.

Lendlease $1.2bn Victoria Cross Development Under Way
▲ The development will deliver a new urban retail experience with 30 new food and beverage-led retailers anchoring the 42-storey skycraper.

Lendlease, which is developing entire precincts around tube stations in London, has emerged as a big winner of complex integrated station works that suit its model.

It is also the builder on Investa Commercial Property Fund and Manulife Financial Corporation’s massive twin tower office project at Sydney’s Martin Place above the new metro railway station that will be worth about $3 billion.

Lendlease was also in the race to build two mixed-use towers in central Sydney above the proposed Pitt Street metro station, but was pipped by Canada’s Oxford Properties.

The Victoria Cross project underpins the race for a number of high profile developers to secure existing stock and available sites in Sydney's emerging “second CBD” in North Sydney.

Stockland has lodged plans for a $500 million North Sydney office tower as it banks on a post-pandemic return of workers to Sydney’s second CBD.

In July, Thirdi Group and private equity firm Phoenix Property Investors secured development approval for a $300 million office project at 2-4 Blue Street and 1-5 William Street, which they aimed to finish and lease out by early 2023.

Oxford Investa Property Partnership also have plans in front of council to redevelop the MLC Building at 105 Miller Street into a $450 million tower.

Private developer Billbergia is due to complete a 50-storey commercial tower with 24 levels of office accommodation and a hotel at 88 Walker Street—alongside Stockland’s proposed tower.

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