$2 billion Barangaroo Central contract awarded

The NSW government has finally signed on the consortium consisting of Grocon, Scentre Group and Aqualand as developers of the $2 billion Barangaroo Central site in Sydney, the final piece of the Barangaroo precinct.

It is understood the deal was signed last week, although details on the number of apartments or amount of office space have not been laid released.

Unlike Barangaroo South, which features three sky-scraping international towers, the 5.2-hectare Barangaroo Central will be the cultural centre for the waterfront suburb focusing on retail and residential use. It will also have an office component, built by Grocon.

Scentre will oversee the shopping centre development while Sydney developer Aqualand will develop apartments at the site.

The signing, which was due last year, was delayed because of the complex nature of the deal. The tender process which started in 2014 was also drawn out.

The masterplan, north of Barangaroo South and the $2 billion Crown Sydney hotel-casino site, reserves three hectares of waterfront land for active public and cultural space on the eastern half of the 5.2-hectare site. Achieving that was not without difficulties.

During the masterplan draft in 2014, there was public concerns that a lot of spaces were being moved around to suit ­private interests, namely James Packer’s hotel resort Crown Sydney had been moved to a spot that was previously meant to be a public park.

The people of Millers Point tried to shut down the project in court in 2016 but lost the case.

Construction of the 71-storey hotel tower at the resort – sandwiched between Barangaroo South and Central – which will also house apartments has progressed.

The start of the development of Barangaroo Central, also home to the future Barangaroo new metro station will now complete what Barangaroo Delivery Authority calls “the final piece in the Barangaroo puzzle”.

Development is scheduled for completion in 2024, during which time the complete Wulugul Walk traversing the entire Barangaroo waterfront will open.

Major players such as Mirvac and Barangaroo South developer Lendlease were unsuccessful in securing the high-profile project, teaming up to bid for the project but missed out as underbidders.

Scentre,  Aqualand and Grocon have not yet commented on the news. The Barangaroo Delivery Authority said it could “neither confirm nor comment”.