Drivas Proposes Major Upgrades to Heritage-Listed Sydney Tower


Sydney-based developer Dimitri Drivas has submitted a proposal to the City of Sydney for the $32 million extension of the heritage-listed "International House" on Bathurst Street.

The developer's Drivas Property Group will refurbish the existing structure, constructing an additional seven floors of commercial office space beyond its current apex.

Drivas is seeking to add 8971sq m of commercial office space on top of the existing 5921sq m of mixed-use retail and commercial space.

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Construction will include removal of all structures on level seven to accommodate new floors.

Refurbishment works will include repairing the building's heritage facade and internal upgrades to the existing ground floor shop fronts, basement and six above-ground commercial floor plates.

Estimated to cost around $32.7 million, Drivas engaged architects Tanner Kibble Denton to take on the historical upgrade of a building that first served its purpose as a factory and showroom for bicycle manufacturer Bennett & Wood in 1908.

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Drivas, who has an office in the building, is seeking to add 8971sq m of commercial office space to the existing tower.

International House originally took form over two stages, with a seven-storey brick building completed on the corner of Pitt and Bathurst streets in 1908, followed by an L-shaped extension in 1926 constructed from brick and concrete-encased steel.

The building was designed by architect Henry Austin Wilshire, the son of Sydney's second elector mayor.

Wilshire designed an array of building types across Sydney — including churches, houses, jails and other commercial buildings — between the years of 1886 and 1923. The architect has 13 buildings listed on the NSW Heritage Register, including International House.

The second stage was designed by Spain & Cosh, the architects behind Culwulla Chambers, Sydney’s first — and at the time highly controversial — skyscraper.

Stage one of the International House building, completed in 1908 by Wilshire
Bathurst Street1

Proposed amenity will include end of trip facilities at ground level, a rooftop terrace and the retention of the entertainment venue and retail uses on the ground floor.

Late last year Drivas, who has a long history in the Sydney property market, submitted a joint application with Coombes Property Group for a $227 million office tower in Parramatta. The development comprises a low-rise, four-storey commercial office on 220-230 Church Street and a 24-story commercial office tower on 48-50 Macquarie Street, with 39,061 sq m of commercial office floor space across 23 levels.

Drivas did not return comment by time of publication and no indication has been given on a timeline for the Bathurst Street proposal.

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