Huge twin towers coming to Martin Place station

Artist’s impression of Macquarie’s Martin Place development, from Elizabeth St, looking north.

Macquarie Group is surging back into property development with a massive twin tower office project at Sydney’s Martin Place, above a new metro railway station.

The NSW government today awarded Macquarie a $378.6 million contract to deliver the largely underground station component of the new Martin Place metro station, including new underground pedestrian connections and improvements to the public domain.

Under the deal Macquarie, along with its design and construction contractor Lendlease, will integrate the new metro station with a retail and recreation precinct, two new office towers and the existing Martin Place railway station.

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The investment bank won final NSW government approval via the controversial unsolicited proposals process, with the government saying the integrated development, coupled with the Sydney Metro in the CBD, would breathe new life into the city.

Martin Place Sydney development

An artist’s impression of the Martin Place project.

NSW Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance says the plan will improve public transport in the city.

“With the new Martin Place station, customers in the heart of Sydney’s CBD will have access to an unprecedented level of public transport and will be more connected than ever before,” he says.

Martin Place is Sydney’s first integrated metro station development. Three consortiums were vying for the right to build towers above nearby Pitt St.

As part of the state’s first “value capture” agreement with a developer on Sydney Metro, the NSW Government will receive $355 million from Macquarie Group for the air rights above the new metro station, while the investment bank will deliver new commercial buildings, pedestrian connections and retail space.

Martin Place Sydney

How it will look below Martin Place.

Macquarie’s unsolicited proposal for the integrated station development was found to provide a “unique positive” outcome for the state, the government says. It did not offer the station development to tender as it has with other sites.

The project has been pitched as having a design informed by New York’s World Trade Centre station and Hong Kong’s International Finance Centre.

While the new Martin Place station is built underground, the integrated station development will be able to be built above at the same time. Both elements are to be completed close to when Sydney Metro services start in 2024.

Martin Place

The development below Martin Place.

In March, Macquarie Group won planning approval for two new office towers at Sydney’s Martin Place despite objections from neighbouring landlords Dexus and the GPT Group amid concerns about the historic financial strip’s future.

The investment bank’s plan will significantly boost the quantum of office space in the city when at least two rival mega-projects are searching for tenants. The sheer scale of the project — with an estimated end value of about $3 billion — effectively marks the return of the powerful Macquarie operation to the real estate scene.

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