Green light given for Sydney’s tallest residential tower

Artist’s impression of the new tower at 505 George Street in Sydney. Picture: Supplied
Artist’s impression of the new tower at 505 George Street in Sydney. Picture: Supplied

Developers have won approval for a new building in Sydney’s central business district that will become the city’s highest apartment tower once it is built.

Listed property company Mirvac and the private Coombes Property group secured planning consent from the City of Sydney for their long-mooted mixed-use, residential-led precinct at 505 George Street on Thursday evening. The super-tall 270m tower is aimed at re-establishing Sydney’s iconic George Street as the centre of the city and bringing prestige to the ­precinct.

The site, with significant street frontage to George and Kent Street, is currently occupied by Event Cinemas, food retailers, a Timezone and a college.

The design, by German architects Ingenhoven and local firm Architectus, takes a “friendly neighbour” approach aimed at ­integrating with the surrounding buildings.

The tower is to include 507 apartments, including luxury serviced suites and a rooftop restaurant and bar, while the podium comprises a boutique cinema, retail, conferencing facilities, a childcare centre and a council meeting room.

Rather than overwhelming, the swish 90-level tower is designed to be an elegant form on the skyline, with the curving facade addressing views in all directions.

The entrance of the new tower being developed in Sydney’s cinema district. Picture: Supplied

The developers are keen to push ahead with the project even as developers confront a tough environment for luxury unit sales, although Crown Resorts and Lendlease have been able to pre-sell apartments at the harbourside Baranagaroo precinct at a premium.

Coombes director Michael Coombes said the project had the potential to redefine Sydney’s mid-city area.

“With its prominent location at the city’s southern gateway and its distinctive design, 505 George St will become a new icon for the city skyline. Its delivery will signal the resurgence of Sydney’s Mid-Town, revitalising the historic precinct, which includes the adjacent Town Hall complex, and bringing it back into line with nearby Darling Harbour and Circular Quay, by making it a global destination in its own right,” he said.

Mirvac is managing the project on behalf of Coombes and the building last year it won the MIPIM/Architectural Review Future Project Award in the Tall Buildings category.

Ingenhoven founder, Christoph Ingenhoven cited the opportunity to build a tower with an ecological and green design positively impacts the environment. Architectus principal Ray Brown said there would be a mix of uses and street activation will redefine the precinct and add to a more diverse and connected neighbourhood.

Coombes is the landowner and developer of the project. It will retain ownership of the commercial aspects of the development and will offer it for lease.

While Mirvac is co-ordinating the project on behalf of Coombes, the private company bought the 4,308sqm site in 2009 from Challenger and in 2015 secured site-specific planning approval permitting greater height on the site.

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