Student housing, offices form $1bn Macquarie Centre plan
AMP Capital has unveiled a near-$1 billion redevelopment plan for Sydney’s Macquarie Town Centre retail hub, which will revitalise the precinct with student accommodation, apartments and more office towers.
The shopping centre owner submitted plans this month to City of Ryde Council for an ambitious redevelopment of the retail stalwart that is now at the centre of a priority development area, capitalising on the Macquarie University railway station.
AMP Capital has proposed a four-tower development ranging in heights from 90m to 120m above ground level, and a maximum additional gross floor area of 148,000sqm. Early plans for the scheme include capacity for up to 950 apartments, or a range of uses including student accommodation, and more retail and office space.
“Our vision is to transform Macquarie Centre into a world-class centre of discovery and innovation where people can shop, live and work,” AMP Capital retail fund manager Louise Mason says.
“The town centre will incorporate a vibrant mix of quality retail, lifestyle and leisure facilities in addition to premium commercial and residential apartments, making Macquarie Town Centre the heart of Macquarie Park.”
The $940m development is the latest move in response to a NSW government decision in September last year to designate the area as a “priority precinct”, which aims to deliver more housing and employment opportunities to Macquarie Park.
As part of AMP’s plan, it will also create a new “station plaza” between the train station and shopping centre, framed by active uses and a landmark building known as the “shard”.
Our vision is to transform Macquarie Centre into a world-class centre of discovery and innovation where people can shop, live and work
It is a long-dated plan, according to the fund manager, who was keen to press that it was early stages in the planning process and any completed development was likely to be about 10 to 15 years away.
It is unknown how the group will finance the project, with the fund manager noting that the group would advance the development application ahead of making any decisions.
The group has won approval elsewhere for mixed-use schemes on its centres.
AMP Capital last August received the nod for a $600 million expansion of Karrinyup shopping centre in Perth’s north that would double the size of the centre and include 150 units.
Though funding plans for the Macquarie Centre revamp are in their infancy, the project could be suited to a specialist trust open to investment from offshore parties hungry for exposure to local mixed-use opportunities.
AMP Capital has also partnered with established local developers. In Brisbane, the group struck a deal with the private Billbergia to develop the $1 billion Skytower, Australia’s third-tallest apartment tower with more than 1100 apartments.
This article originally appeared on www.theaustralian.com.au/property