Thirdi and Toohey Miller have won approval for their North Sydney $650-million commercial tower, Warada on Walker.
Informed by the 2019 bushfires and ensuing Covid-19 pandemic, Thirdi co-founder Luke Berry said the premium office tower would lead the renewal of the North Sydney CBD alongside Lendlease’s over-station Victoria Cross development. Berry said North Sydney was on the cusp of a boom.
It will be one of the largest commercial office spaces in the North Sydney CBD with more than 27,000sq m of net lettable area and typical floorplates spanning 1150sq metres.
Berry said JLL would handle the leasing for the 22-storey premium office tower with the bottom third dedicated to flexible working, and that were talks under way with media, advertising and telecommunications groups for the remainder of the building.
“There’s interest in new and custom-built office after this pandemic—you need to have an office that inspires your employees and earns their commute,” he said.
“Sydney hasn’t had a project like this in quite some time and will easily be one of our legacy projects we’ll remember as we make our way out of the pandemic world.
“Big corporates still need to be able to bring their people together to develop work culture and collaboration … but there’s no denying that the office market has shifted.
“The whole work from home revolution was already happening, the pandemic just sped it up.”
Berry said he anticipated the repositioning of many of Sydney’s B-grade office towers with plenty of institutional investment digging into the asset class.
“There’s enormous interest out there in investing in office developments,” Berry said.
“I think we’re seen as a very safe and stable economy to invest in.”
North Sydney Council approved the development earlier this month. The developers are planning to break ground later this year with a completion date slated for 2025.
It follows the success of Thirdi’s Blue & William $300-million commercial tower, also in North Sydney, which was acquired by Singaporean Keppel REIT and Lendlease.
“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, we see this building playing a major role in North Sydney’s return to the national stage as a genuine CBD of Australia,” Berry said.
Toohey Miller founder Nick Couloumbis said they had designed the building to maximise the size and adaptability of floorplates as well as providing access to open-air collaboration spaces and a roof-top garden atrium.
The office tower development will include 73 car spaces, 156 bike spaces, 12 retail spaces, state-of-the-art end of trip facilities for commuters and an amphitheatre.