Mirvac Adds 357 Apartments to $1bn Darling Harbour Plans

2020-April-10

Mirvac has revised plans for the billion-dollar redevelopment of the Harbourside Shopping Centre to include 357 apartments in Sydney’s Darling Harbour.

The revised plans, which include a FJMT-designed tower comprising residential, have caused angst from neighbouring Sofitel Darling Harbour owner Jerry Schwartz.

Mirvac re-lodged its plans for the site in 2019, proposing a commercial office above the redeveloped shopping centre.

But hotel owner and developer Schwartz has hit back saying Mirvac’s latest proposal in favour of “a massive residential tower” should be rejected.

Top: Mirvac’s amended design includes a relocation of the tower and a reduction of 12.6 metres in height. Bottom Mirvac’s original design

The established shopping centre has been located within Sydney’s popular harbour precinct for more than 30 years.

Mirvac, who were contacted for commentary, originally purchased the property for $252 million in 2013.

New plans lodged this month show the relocation of the tower from the north of the site to its centre.

While the tower’s height is reduced from 166 metres to 153 metres, with its footprint increased in width to accommodate the floorspace from the tower’s height reduction.

Planning documents show that Mirvac has “identified an opportunity to reinvigorate the existing asset” to deliver a mixed use precinct that provides “retail, food and beverage offerings as well as commercial office space and residential dwellings”.

“The proposed delivery of around 357 dwellings on the doorstep of the Harbour CBD and within the Innovation Corridor will provide a significant boost to supply,” planning documents read.

Top: The Harbourside Shopping Centre proposal also includes a widened waterfront promenade. Existing area.

Schwartz said the plans go against the urban design concept of Darling Harbour, “which is meant to be a tourism and entertainment precinct and not residential”, Schwartz said.

Schwartz, who paid around $360 million for the Sofitel Darling Harbour hotel in 2017, said Sydney city was “already well serviced” by large-scale high to medium-density apartment developments.

“The whole point of the original proposal was to ‘re-develop’ the Harbourside shopping centre, not develop a massive residential tower under the guise of redeveloping the existing shopping component,” Schwartz said.

Mirvac’s proposal sits within the vision for the Western Harbour Precinct.

On purchasing the property, Mirvac managing director Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz said Harbourside had “a lot of potential”.

“Mirvac remains committed to taking a holistic and place-based approach to the revitalisation of Harbourside,” the ASX company said in its planning proposal.

Deemed a state significant development, Mirvac’s redevelopment proposal is on public exhibition until 29 April.

Earlier this month, GPT and AMP Capital’s $650 million redevelopment at Cockle Bay Wharf announced its winning architect, Danish firm Henning Larsen for the urban park scheme.