Sydney Architecture Images- Darling Harbour and Barangaroo
The Ribbon (proposed)
|Like a blob oozing from a city crack, this building is sited wonderfully between the highways crossing Darling Harbour. Its a very dynamic and exiting design in the most dynamic part of town. To replace the existing Imax Theatre.|
|31 Wheat Rd, Darling Harbour|
|Concrete frame, curtain wall.|
|Images copyright Hassell.|
Grocon recently acquired full ownership of the site from Markham, buying
their share for $70 million.
That said, I think it's a sensible decision to explore other options for the site. The existing project received approval in June 2014 and is yet to secure a commercial tenant, despite the likes of Commonwealth Bank, Google and Westpac (amongst others) rumoured to have shown interest.
A hotel would arguably be a better use for the site considering its location and its proximity to ICC Sydney. A corporate tenant wouldn't benefit as much from the adjacent land uses.
Grocon is canvassing all options for the IMAX development site at Sydney's Darling Harbour,
with a state-of-the-art 400-room hotel and serviced apartment complex now on the table.
The AFR can reveal the developer has tapped real estate group JLL to seek expressions of interest from hotel operators and owners for the landmark site.
Grocon could not be reached for comment and JLL declined to comment when contacted.
But it is understood the developer is in advanced negotiations with Starwood Hotels & Resorts for a W Hotel at the site.
The talks are not binding at this stage and another purchaser with its own brand would also be considered, sources said.
Looks like the Commonwealth Bank, American Express and Atlassian still interested in space in The Ribbon.
Grocon snaps up rest of Imax Theatre site at Darling Harbour for $70m
Carolyn Cummins 09.10.15 SMH
Melbourne-based developer Grocon has extended its footprint in Sydney, paying $70 million to move to full ownership of the Imax Theatre site at Darling Harbour.
Grocon exercised its option to buy co-owner Markham's share of the site, which it plans to redevelop into a state-of-the-art office tower with ground-floor retail.
The first artist's impression, lodged in 2013 and approved last year, shows a distinctive glass-enclosed tower moulded into a ribbon shape.
Grocon has built a number of well-known Sydney properties, including No.1 Martin Place, the Cove Apartments and the new 5 Martin Place.
The development of the Imax site comes amid strong demand for new offices in Sydney, boosted by the growth in the technology sector. Major groups Google, Amazon, Apple and Twitter are all leasing traditional city office space as their businesses expand globally.
John Preece, head of office agency at Knight Frank, said the falling vacancy rate in Sydney had continued overall to be sitting at 6.3 per cent.
Once construction of The Ribbon starts, it will add to the 150 cranes already on the Sydney metropolitan skyline stretching out to Parramatta. In the city, they can be seen right across the core to Darling Harbour and south to Haymarket.
According to a list compiled by Transport for NSW, there are almost $40 billion of major projects under way in central Sydney, or about 90 individual initiatives.
This will eventually include the planned $11 billion cross-city rail line from Chatswood to Sydenham. NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance has said he wants construction under way by 2017.
A Markham-managed fund bought the Imax site in 2005 and undertook a two-stage reconfiguration and extension of the existing building in 2006 and 2010.
In 2011, Markham identified the potential to redevelop the site and sought a partner. It entered into a development rights agreement with Grocon in July 2012.
Markham managing director James Markham said the sale of Imax concluded a successful 10-year investment for the group and its investors.
Grocon chief executive Carolyn Viney said it was committed to the redevelopment of the Imax site.
"This truly is one of the most iconic sites in Sydney and we're passionate about a redevelopment of it to ensure that its potential is realised," Ms Viney said.
"The building design we've come up with is of itself hugely exciting and when we put that together with the significance of the location, we think we can do something really, really special."
The Ribbon by Hassell
Undergoing a redesign last year, the 40,000sqm, 20-storey project will be cantilevered over Harbour Street and feature ground-breaking green technology. Full-height living vertical gardens spanning 12 floors to the east and west of the building will filter fresh air as a ‘green lung’ before it enters the office space, which will be exposed to an abundance of natural light.
6 Star Green Star design
The total net lettable office space area amounts to 38,000sqm, while 7,000sqm have been dedicated to retail and entertainment spaces, including the IMAX cinema.
Grocon’s NSW general manager Chris Carolan told the AFR that the approval will give the project a competitive advantage in winning tenants.
“Not too many 40,000-square metre office projects are ready to go, we could complete in early 2018,” he said.
“It will be a signature building, similar to those now appearing in London.”
The building will be completed in 2018.
"Sydney deserves a distinctive design like this," said Grocon's NSW general manager, Chris Carolan. "The Ribbon personifies the liveliness and sophistication of modern Sydney in a way that speaks directly to contemporary landmarks like Marina Bay Sands in Singapore and the Shard in London."