Green light for $650m North Sydney skyscraper

Sydney’s north shore office market is roaring back to life and the green light has been given to private developers Third.i for a $650 million skyscraper known as Warada on Walker, being built with joint venture partner Toohey Miller.

It will add to the $2 billion-plus worth of new projects earmarked for the North Sydney office market, which excludes the under-construction Victoria Cross Metro station by Lendlease.

Third.i and Toohey Miller tower received approval from the North Sydney council during the week to develop the waratah-inspired $650 million tower at 63-83 Walker Street, North Sydney, which comprises 22 levels of premium office and co-working spaces with 27,000 square metres of net lettable area.

Render of Third.i and Toohey Miller Warada on Walker at 63-83 Walker Street, North Sydney.

It has been designed by Woods Bagot and features a “through-site link” a distinctive rounded red facade and a landscaped shared space above the six-level podium. It will offer state-of-the-art flexible working areas, bike spaces and 12 retail outlets.Advertisement

Third.i co-founder and director, Luke Berry, said the joint venture partners worked closely with the North Sydney Council and the North Sydney Design Excellence Panel to approve the best outcome for the site and the broader community.

“We see this building playing a major role in North Sydney’s return to the national stage as a genuine CBD of Australia.”

Thirdi.i director Luke Berry

“We are just ecstatic to receive our development approval for Warada on Walker, a project representing a rebirth of sorts for North Sydney’s commercial sector and with the support of the Council,” Berry said.

“We see this building playing a major role in North Sydney’s return to the national stage as a genuine CBD of Australia.”

The joint venture partners bought the site in May last year after working with 21 owners to amalgamate the 1825 square metre site, which comprised four office buildings under nine storeys.Advertisement

JLL has been appointed to lease the site, and construction and demolition works are estimated to begin in late 2022. The project is scheduled for completion in the third quarter of 2025.

Toohey Miller founder and director, Nick Couloumbis, said the Warada on Walker project will put the “wow” back into the North Sydney office market.

“It’s been a quite enjoyable experience sharing our proposed project design with the council and industry partners, and we can’t wait to bring the wow factor back to North Sydney’s skyline,” Couloumbis said.

Renders of the proposed Third.i Property and joint venture partner Toohey Miller the $650 million Warada on Walker in North Sydney.

“Our brief to Woods Bagot was to create a building that maximised the building’s generous floor plates, create as many open-air collaboration spaces as possible and design it within a facade that would inspire workers to return to the office.”

Once a ghost town with close to 20 per cent vacancy rates, office space in North Sydney is back on track. Demand is coming from an increasingly wide range of tenants due to its strategic location, relative affordability and access to transport.

The construction of the Metro station, a rising level of residents in the area, and workers looking to stay closer to home and not go to the city has led developers back to North Sydney.

While the overall vacancy rate remained steady at 16.6 per cent, the premium market remains resilient, with a significant decline in premium grade vacancy from 17.7 per cent down to 6.1 per cent in the 12 months to January 2022 in North

In its most recent report, Colliers says average face rents and incentives have remained stable over the first three months of 2022 across building grades in the North Sydney market. The average net face rent is $870 per square metres per year, while average incentives in the rental contracts have stabilised at 35 per cent.

Stockland is one developer that has increased its presence in North Sydney with a proposed $1.3 billion redevelopment of its 110-122 Walker Street site. Once completed in 2024, the Hassell-designed site will be a 64,000 square metre, 55-storey office and retail skyscraper boasting state-of-the-art working practices.

Another site nearing completion is the 50-level commercial development at 88 Walker Street from developer Billbergia.

Colliers International is leasing what will be the tallest tower in North Sydney when it is completed around the third quarter of 2022.

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