Quay Quarter tower; 50-storey glass skyscraper set to rival Barangaroo
Barangaroo may be the poster-child of Sydney’s rejuvenation, but another contender is set to hog the development limelight as AMP Capital begins work on a 50-storey glass skyscraper, part of a $2.7 billion renewal project next to Circular Quay.
The investment fund manager has kicked off development of its Quay Quarter tower at 50 Bridge Street, a landmark 50-storey tower designed by Danish architects 3XN.
The 200-metre-tall skyscraper will be constructed around five “shifting glass volumes” stacked on top of each other, punctuated by atrium space with views over Sydney Harbour.
The tower is part of a $2.7 billion redevelopment of two city blocks by AMP Capital that will include a shopping plaza and residential accommodation near Circular Quay.
Earlier this year, AMP appointed Richard Crookes Constructions to build the Loftus Lane apartments on 4,300 square metres in Quay Quarter.
Despite signs of cooling in Sydney’s housing market, the apartments were selling well with construction started and on track to be completed by 2020, AMP said.
At the base of the tower will be an urban green space and about 5000 square metres of retail space for lifestyle shops, services, food and dining.
The skyscraper will add to a renaissance underway in Sydney that has seen an unprecedented $4.8 billion worth of projects under construction in the CBD.
Multiple cranes puncture the city’s skyline as office workers dodge a minefield of dust, demolition, pneumatic drilling, construction workers, scaffolding and cement trucks.
Builders Brookfield Multiplex is set to add another crane when it starts construction of the tower which is expected to be completed late in 2021.
AMP Capital’s global head of real estate, Carmel Hourigan, said Circular Quay had been the fund manager’s home for more than 55 years.
“Our plans for the Quay Quarter precinct ensures the retention of its rich history as a unique gateway to Sydney,” Ms Hourigan said.
AMP Capital has underpinned its development by selling a $900 million stake on completion of the building to super fund Rest.
The remainder of the tower will be owned by the AMP Capital Diversified Property Fund and AMP Capital Wholesale Office Fund and will be anchored by the AMP Group.
AMP was in discussions with major tenants to take the remainder of the space, she said.
The search for tenants shouldn’t be too onerous. Vacancies in A-grade buildings in the city’s core are at their lowest level in a decade, at about 4.6 percent.
Office rents have pushed past $1000 per square metre for the first time ever as the thirst for prize space punches costs higher.
According to recent Cushman & Wakefield data, prime net face rents have reached $1010 and incentives – perks like fitouts that landlords offer tenants to move into their buildings – have slipped from 21 percent to 20 percent.
Rest general manager of investments Brendan Casey said the deal gave the fund’s two million members an interest in what is likely to be one of Australia’s “best” office buildings.
“Opportunities to invest in premium grade Sydney CBD properties of this scale are rare,” said Dr Casey.
“The continuing development of Sydney as a global office market, coupled with the location overlooking Circular Quay and premium grade quality of the office development were all factors in our decision to invest,” he said.