GPT gets green light for $230m Parramatta tower
Property developer and investor GPT Group has been given the green light to develop a $230 million-plus office tower at Parramatta, in Sydney's west.
The City of Parramatta Council awarded architecture firm Fender Katsalidis to design the 26,000 square metre office tower at 32 Smith Street, Parramatta in August last year and has now given consent to GPT for its construction.
The property will feature a ground level ‘urban room’ event space and an elevated podium terrace facing the Parramatta river. It will also have a car park that can be converted into office space in the future.
It will join the expanding skyline in what is seen as the fastest growing CBD in the country. The new site is close to the Parramatta Transport Interchange and planned$1.2 billion Riverbank cultural precinct which will house the new Museum of Applied Arts and Science.
There is close to $10 billion of new development at Parramatta including the $6 billion civic square. GPT will join Lang Walker, Charter Hall and Dexus in developing a swath of new towers in the area for tenants including KPMG, Western Sydney University and government department.
Scentre group's chief executive Peter Allen also confirmed the retailer was looking at constructing a high-level office tower atop its Westfield Parramatta shopping centre.
Fuelling the attraction for the west, which will be a major beneficiary of the planned second airport for Sydney at Badgerys Creek, is the record low office vacancy in the area.
For the six months to January 2018, the Property Council report showed the vacancy rate for Parramatta fell from 4.3 per cent to 3 per cent, while for A Grade is sits at zero.
This compares to the overall vacancy rate of 4.6 per cent for the Sydney CBD at the end of the same period.
GPT’s head of office and logistics Matthew Faddy said the project will create a major''iconic landmark and add energy to the transformation of Parramatta into a world-class commercial and cultural centre''.
He said GPT has appointed JLL to lease the site.
Mr Faddy said the significant infrastructure investment and strong population growth in Western Sydney and improved amenity in the local area had fuelled the strong demand for office space in Parramatta.
''All of these factors will reinforce the Parramatta CBD as the geographic heart ofcommercial activity in Sydney and make it an even more compelling location for majorcorporate tenants,'' Mr Faddy said.
In recognition of the growth in the west. last week Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and eight western Sydney mayors, launched a landmark ''city deal'', which they said is a game changer for Western Sydney.
The deal, Australia’s largest and most complex, brings together eight local government areas with the state and federal government and sets out a roadmap for growth and development across a large swathe of Western Sydney.
“To arrive at a deal is no easy feat and it demonstrates a fair dinkum commitment which, if implemented well, will improve transport, liveability, housing supply and long-term collaboration across Western Sydney,” NSW executive director of the Property Council Jane Fitzgerald said.
“Importantly the plan is the bedrock of a ‘real deal’ City Deal, focussed on the future – the economic growth, investment and the educational and technology needs of Sydney’s third city around the new Western Sydney Airport.''
Ms Fitzgerald said the deal outlines key priorities for housing supply, the new Western Sydney Airport, other infrastructure investment especially in rail and making sure that communities are well serviced and accessible.
''It also provides industry with the confidence to invest; a long-term agreement means all sectors know what government policy is coming over the horizon and can invest accordingly,'' Ms Fitzgerald said.
''The usual practice in Australia had been for every government to fend for themselves with little or no coordination or consistency.''