Aug
20
Leighton Properties to develop North Sydney's first new commercial property in 6 years

Helen Wright 20 Aug 2013

Leighton Properties has announced the development of North Sydney’s first new commercial building in six years at 177 Pacific Highway, which is set to become one of Sydney’s most significant projects.

The $400 million high rise development will redefine the North Sydney CBD skyline and feature 40,000sqm of A-Grade commercial space across 30 levels. Completion is scheduled in the first half of 2016.

Leighton Properties has agreed terms with vendor, Winten Property Group to facilitate the project.

Mr Mark Gray, Managing Director of Leighton Properties, said; “The development fits with our core competency of CBD commercial development and our strategy to leverage the Leighton brand, certainty of delivery and credit rating together with our space occupancy needs to attract investment partners to our projects. The project will be underwritten by Leighton, which will take a head lease over 76% of the office space. The remaining10,000sqm in the tower’s sky rise will be available to other corporates, meeting demand in North Sydney, a market that is experiencing record low vacancy rates.

“We have developed a number of the prime North Sydney towers in the past and we feel the area is worthy of a new development of this kind, particularly given North Sydney has a vacancy rate of 2.8%* in the A-Grade commercial sector.”

“Designed by award winning architectural firm Bates Smart, the new development will offer state of the art design elements, large floor plates and sweeping harbour views. It will boast substantial green credentials and is designed to target a 5 Star Green Star – Office Design v3 and a 5 Star NABERS Energy rating.”

Mr Hamish Tyrwhitt, Chief Executive Officer of Leighton Holdings, said: “Leighton Group Companies currently occupy over 40,000sqm of office space in Sydney, both corporate and project, across 11 buildings of differing quality, density, fitout and age. The potential for a high performance workplace that consolidates our corporate and operational office spaces with  shared facilities and high amenity will drive a more efficient and collegiate working environment that embodies the company’s values of discipline, integrity, safety and success.”

“We aim to be renowned for excellence, delivering through our operating brands and the empowerment of our people. This project will embody this vision creating a working environment that will inspire and connect our staff in the pursuit of excellence.”

Leighton Properties has appointed Jones Lang LaSalle and CBRE as exclusive agents for the sale of 177 Pacific Highway with a national and international Expressions of Interest campaign closing on 19th September.

Mr Paul Noonan, Head of Sales and Investments (NSW) at Jones Lang LaSalle, said: “Jones Lang LaSalle research indicates that there is a basket of only 48 assets nationally with investment characteristics similar to 177 Pacific Highway, North Sydney. A high proportion of these assets are jointly owned and assets in this cohort are tightly held, making this a truly rare opportunity. We expect this will result in strong competition from domestic and international investors."

Mr Josh Cullen, National Director Capital Markets at CBRE, said: “We expect significant interest for core product such as 177 Pacific Highway from both onshore and offshore groups.  There is still very strong capital chasing limited core CBD opportunities within the Australian market.”

* PCA Office Report, 31 July 2013.

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Helen Wright

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