The country’s first skyscraper, 33 Alfred Street, owned by AMP Capital, in the prime position at Circular Quay, is to get a much-needed facelift as part of the $1 billion redevelopment of the Quay Quarter.
While it was seen as “cutting edge” when it opened 55 years ago, the grey H-shaped structure needs some revitalisation.
Once completed, Quay Quarter will showcase a newly-built 50 Bridge Street, behind 33 Alfred Street, public spaces, retail outlets and low-rise residential. It will form the northern bookend of the upgraded Circular Quay precinct with the proposed hotel and apartments near George Street, being developed by the Chinese Wanda group.
Part of AMP Capital’s design is to give Circular Quay’s laneways a Melbourne-style makeover. There are also plans for new ferry terminals and a new-look Cahill Expressway.
AMP Capital has submitted the development application (DA) to revitalise 33 Alfred Street, which being heritage-listed, the design must be sensitive in its renewal of the building’s fa??ades. There will also be increased activation of the street-level frontages and an upgrade of the building’s services and interior.
Pending necessary approvals, construction is earmarked to start once nearby Quay Quarter Tower is completed in 2020.
According to Chris Freeman, Savills Australia national head of Capital Strategy, while the landlocked nature of the CBD continues to hinder net supply, “we estimate there is approximately $7.9 billion worth of new construction and infrastructure earmarked for the circa-one kilometre radius between George, Phillip and Bridge Street, which continues to improve the area’s amenity and appeal”.
“In addition to the Light Rail and Circular Quay Ferry, Bus and Rail Interchange upgrade, upcoming developments such as 1 Alfred Street by Wanda, Quay Quarter by AMP Capital, Circular Quay Tower by Lend Lease and Sandstone Precinct by Pontiac, are seeing a major renaissance for the CBD core,” Mr Freeman said.
AMP Capital’s Stage 2 DA lodgement follows two years of consultation with the City of Sydney and the New South Wales government.
The chief operating officer of real estate at AMP Capital, Louise Mason, said while it is still some time away, “the work will breathe new life into this office tower while paying tribute to its history, heritage and place at Sydney’s global gateway”.
“The building’s unique place in history and its distinctive design make 33 Alfred Street an important part of Sydney’s and Australia’s cityscapes. Along with being Australia’s first skyscraper, the building was cutting edge in its time, incorporating many other ‘firsts’ and innovations in its design,” Ms Mason said.
“The proposed redevelopment will restore the building to its rightful status as a premium-grade office tower in keeping with this history, and its prominent place at Circular Quay.”
Ms Mason said due to the building’s local heritage listing, the work will focus on reinstating lost features, such as bringing back its former gold tiles down the front, new paint, while refurbishing internal spaces and significantly improving the environmental performance of the building to bring it in line with premium commercial office standards.
“The property, 33 Alfred Street, was developed by AMP 55 years ago. We are committed to leading the way and ensuring the project is an exemplar of sensitive and sustainable renewal,” Ms Mason said.
The facelift will not fundamentally alter its structure or create any additional floor space, but will focus in a major interior refurbishment and upgrade of the building’s services, and a complete “modernisation” of the tower fa??ade,.
AMP Capital has appointed architect JPW for the project. 33 Alfred Street is jointly owned by investors in the AMP Capital Diversified Property Fund and the AMP Capital Wholesale Office Fund.