Rothschild move puts Sydney’s Quay Quarter on fast track

AMP Capital is advancing plans for its $2 billion Quay Quarter development in Sydney.

AMP Capital is advancing plans for its $2 billion Quay Quarter development after a key tenant of the existing 50 Bridge Street tower, Rothschild Australia, struck a deal to shift to nearby Aurora Place.

The international bank, which was on a lease until 2020, is understood to be shifting to an upper floor in Aurora Place.

Aurora Place, owned by South Korea’s National Pension Service, is a Sydney landmark, but has been hit by the departure of tenants including law firm Minter ­Ellison, and the smaller footprint of investment bank CIMB.

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However, the Renzo Piano-­designed building remains one of Sydney’s few premium towers and Rothshild is thought to have been drawn by its floor plates, of about 1400sqm, and stunning harbour views.

Tom Mott and Alex Wong of JLL and Cameron Williams and John Paek of Colliers International are marketing the tower. Mott is understood to have brokered the latest deal.

Discussions are under way with all tenants as we look to find alternative accommodation that best suits their needs

The move means AMP Capital has only a single major tenant, legal firm Baker & McKenzie, yet to agree to a move from 50 Bridge Street before it can finally kickstart its redevelopment of the tower and the associated precinct.

AMP Capital Property chief operating officer Louise Mason says: “While I wouldn’t comment on specific tenants, discussions are under way with all tenants as we look to find alternative accommodation that best suits their needs.”

Louise Mason says AMP is looking for alternative accommodation for tenants.

Louise Mason says AMP is looking for alternative accommodation for tenants.

“AMP Capital has already completed a number of deals and discussions are progressing well. With still a way to go before construction is targeted to commence, we know what the timeframes and parameters for the discussions are and we are confident of achieving them,” Mason says.

Baker & McKenzie is the second-largest tenant in the building after AMP and holds an option to remain until the end of 2024. AMP hopes to start building in 2018 and a number of options are still open across the city for the law firm, despite the tightening of Sydney’s leasing market.

The Australian reported last month that AMP Capital was considering a major internal shift as the two funds undertaking the Quay Quarter Sydney project — AMP Capital Wholesale Office Fund and AMP Capital ­Diversified Property Fund — mulled the acquisition of the historic gold-plated tower.

AMP Capital has already completed a number of deals and discussions are progressing well

The strategy, still in its infancy, would give the funds complete ­dominion over a block including the high-rise tower at 50 Bridge Street, Young and Loftus streets, and the striking AMP tower, which is regarded as the city’s first skyscraper. The group is consulting with all stakeholders at it prepares to begin building in early 2018.

AMP Capital received stage two development approval in ­November and, under new global property head Carmel Hourigan, is moving closer to making a major decision about whether to start the precinct.

The concept plan proposes a skyscraper in a stacked design by international architects 3XN at 50 Bridge Street, and three new mixed-use buildings with apartments, creative office spaces and ground floor retail and restaurants that would line the laneways and streetfronts in and around Young and Loftus streets.

This article originally appeared on www.theaustralian.com.au/property.