Sydney CBD gateway set to sparkle once more

The gateway to Sydney’s CBD is long-overdue for an overhaul, says Brookfield Property Partners’ head of development Carl Schibrowski, as the company embarks on the $1.7 billion upgrade of Wynyard Place.

The site, which stretches from George Street to Wynyard Station, will be anchored by a new 27-storey tower at 10 Carrington Place. More than 59,000 sqm of premium-grade office space will be complemented with 7000 sqm of high-end retail.

Close by, two heritage listed landmarks – Shell House, currently part of the Menzies Hotel, and 285 George Street, the home of Peapes Menswear for almost half a century – will be sympathetically restored, and will be converted back into office buildings.

Wynyard Lane will be revitalised, and a major upgrade to Wynyard Station’s George Street entrance will include a $120 million grand transit hall and public concourse fringed by high-end retail.

“Wynyard has been the gateway to the Sydney CBD since the Harbour Bridge opened in 1932,” Schibrowski says.

“The long overdue re-development of this precinct represents a collective aspiration to restore Wynyard to its rightful place as the main civic hub of all the CBD transport modes including the Sydney Trains network, the new light rail and the pedestrian links.

“On completion in 2020, Wynyard Place will be the final infrastructure piece connecting the established Eastern Core with the emergent Western Precinct, and re-establish Wynyard as the heart of the CBD.”

London-based MAKE Architects has been appointed, and partner Ian Lomas says the design aims to “create a major city precinct that can adapt as society and technology evolve”.

“By continually adding to the layers of a building, you enable the countless people who have used that space over the years to remain a part of its history,” Lomas explains.

Speaking at a Property Council function last week, Schibrowski said Brookfield aims for the premium office at 10 Carrington and boutique office environments in the restored Shell House and 285 George Street to cater to a diverse tenant base.

The public realm in and around Wynyard Station will be enhanced by what Schibrowski says will be “an exceptional pedestrian environment and retail experience”.

The Property Council’s NSW deputy executive director Felicity Wilson says the transformation will be “on a par with the best transit-oriented developments across the globe”.

Construction will begin in early 2017, and Schibrowski says “all of the components of Wynyard Place have been designed with people at the centre.”