License article

More diversity sought for Barangaroo harbour development

Developers hoping to secure a slice of Barangaroo's ''public and cultural heart'' will be required to lodge separate bids for each of its three building parcels.

The Barangaroo Delivery Authority said this month that the block-by-block approach for Central Barangaroo would bring ''grain and diversity'' to the 5.2-hectare precinct between James Packer's hotel-casino and the headland park.

The final development opportunity at Barangaroo also represents a marked departure from the single-developer approach used at Barangaroo South and Darling Harbour, for which government tenders were awarded to Lend Lease.

But the construction giant may yet seek to extend its dominance of major projects on the western fringe of the central business district by bidding for all or part of the 2.2 hectares of development land now on offer.

"Given our involvement already in the Barangaroo precinct, we are considering the Central Barangaroo opportunity now that tender details have been released,'' a Lend Lease spokesman said.

Interested parties have been asked to prepare proposals that, when combined across the three parcels of land adjoining Hickson Road, could as much as double the approved density at Central Barangaroo.


The authority announced in November that it would seek to increase the floor area to 120,000 square metres in order to support a ''greater diversity'' of residential, commercial, cultural and educational uses within the same building heights and footprints.

Guidelines for interested developers require 11,000 square metres of this expanded density be set aside for ''non-core'' uses, defined during briefings this month as anything other than apartments or office space.

If applied across the final designs, this could leave as little as 9 per cent of the total development floor space accessible to the public, be it in the form of shops, bars, educational facilities or civic areas.

''The authority has said to developers, 'The more of these mixed uses included, the better','' a spokeswoman said.

Five development proposals for each of the parcels are expected to be shortlisted for a second stage of the bid process this year, with final agreements to be signed next year.

The authority, which is seeking expressions of interest from prospective tenants, plans to lodge the floor-space modifications with the Department of Planning and Environment as soon as next month.

These proposed changes, with further modifications for Barangaroo South, have been heavily criticised by the City of Sydney.

The council has called for the changes to go through a new, independent approval process, and noted that the modifications more than doubled the development floor space in Barangaroo's original 2005 competition brief.

Lend Lease declined to say what changes it was seeking to non-core uses at Barangaroo South, plans for which would be lodged in ''coming months''.

Details of the proposed modifications, including information about the gross floor area, would then be publicly available, a spokesman said.