Shovels at the ready: NSW Premier gets construction underway on the new Parramatta City campus
At a formal ground breaking ceremony today, Leighton Holdings (through its company Leighton Properties) and Charter Hall officially commenced construction on One Parramatta Square (1PSQ) - the $220.5 million commercial development in Sydney's west.
1PSQ, owned by two of Charter Hall's managed funds, is being developed by Leighton Properties and constructed by John Holland. Upon completion the building will be the flagship Parramatta City Campus for the University of Western Sydney (UWS).
NSW Premier and Minister for Western Sydney, Mike Baird, and Lord Mayor of Parramatta, Cr Scott Lloyd, turned the first sod to mark the official start of construction at the site.
"We are thrilled that construction commenced today on such a significant development in the centre of the Parramatta CBD," said Mr Baird.
"Parramatta is the geographic heart of Sydney and with the revitalisation of its CBD, residents of the surrounding area will now have the opportunity to work and study close to where they live. The construction of this project will provide hundreds of jobs and will continue to do so into the future."
Cr Lloyd said the start of construction was a milestone in the roll out of the broader $2 billion Parramatta Square urban renewal project, which will include two commercial towers, a 65-storey plus residential tower, a 150-room hotel and community facilities.
"We are proud to be working with UWS, Leighton Properties and Charter Hall to deliver this innovative new campus in the heart of our CBD, minutes away from public transport links including the new Western Sydney light rail," said Cr Lloyd.
"The campus will help make Parramatta a true university city, further boost our reputation as a centre for education, research and technology, and help attract the high end jobs of the future.
"Parramatta Square is a key part of our vision to build Australia's next great city and will be a vibrant hub for people in Western Sydney to meet, work, learn and experience our city's great cultural diversity."
UWS Vice-Chancellor, Professor Barney Glover, said new UWS Parramatta City Campus, located in the Parramatta Square precinct, will offer first class educational facilities for up to 10,000 students.
"Our vision is to create a campus that not only allows students to enjoy a lively, cosmopolitan atmosphere, but provides them with important links to amenities and public transport, as well as connecting them to the many other exciting developments underway in Parramatta," Professor Glover said.
"The prime CBD location will embed UWS in the social, economic and civic life of Parramatta and Greater Western Sydney."
Leighton Holdings has played a significant role in the revitalisation of Parramatta, with 1PSQ to be Leighton Properties' fourth tower development in the area during the past eight years. Targeting Environmental Design Excellence in sustainability, 1PSQ is designed to achieve 5 Star Green Star Education v1 Design and As Built ratings.
Leighton Properties National Head of Commercial, Andrew Borger, said: "The breaking of ground on 1PSQ at Parramatta Square signals another exciting stage in the development and is an example of our vision of developing thriving, sustainable buildings in strategic CBD areas. It demonstrates the depth of our capabilities in planning, structuring and delivery."
In December 2014, Leighton Properties announced it had sold 1PSQ to each of the Charter Hall managed Core Plus Office Fund and Direct Office Fund, and entered into an agreement to develop the site for Charter Hall.
Charter Hall Joint Managing Director, David Southon, said: "Charter Hall is proud to be a part of Council's vision for a revitalised Parramatta CBD through its investment in 1PSQ.
"We have enjoyed a long and prosperous relationship with Western Sydney through our property investments and relationships with our tenants and broader community, and we will continue to look for opportunities that provide our investors with exposure to quality investment grade assets leased to high calibre tenants, such as UWS."
1PSQ is an A-Grade building that will comprise approximately 26,500 square metres across 14 levels. Construction is expected to be completed in late 2016, in time for the first semester of university in early 2017.
1PSQ Background Information
- There are 14 levels of A-grade space over approximately 26,500 square metres
- UWS has committed to the entire building on a 15 year lease, with options
- The building's design is the result of an international competition won by Architectural firm Architectus
- The space will be highly integrated with inter-floor connectivity within levels of the building
- Onsite amenity to include a vibrant ground floor retail
- The building includes a central atrium which connects the podium floors
- The southern façade of the building provides visual connectivity and direct access to the occupants of the building into Parramatta Square
- A roof terrace provides a break out area with exceptional views to the north and the east
- Targeting 5 Star Green Star Education v1 - Design and As-built ratings
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