Sydney: From CBD To Mixed-Use

In years to come we might not be talking about the Sydney Central Business District, or if we are we’ll be using the term ‘CBD’ loosely. As more and more residents flock to the CBD, the city is becoming more and more of a ‘mixed-use’ one. And that trend is set to continue with the development of the Barangaroo site on Sydney harbour.

The old container terminal on Hickson Road is currently being transformed into a mixed-use oasis of apartment buildings, office towers, urban parks and dining and retail precincts. The nature of the development reflects a trend that has been apparent in the world’s major cities for years and some are labeling it a ‘game-changer.’

There is no doubt that the Barangaroo redevelopment will result in a spike in Sydney construction recruitment, but the effects of the project will be felt across the city and internationally. Assuming nothing is torn down, Barangaroo represents the last opportunity for a harbour front CBD development – an attractive proposition for contract labour hire candidates and expat investors alike.

A few weeks ago, the apartments in the first-release residential building at Barangaroo sold out at a Saturday morning viewing. 20 years on from Bennelong – or the ‘Toaster’ as it is more commonly known – there was considerable interest in the master-planned urban precinct.

The penthouse sold for $10.5 million to an expat living in Geneva while the sub-penthouse brought in another $7.5 million. With one-bedroom apartments priced at $1 million, two-bedders at $2 million and three-bedders at $3 million, the Herald calculated that sales from the opening Saturday totaled more than $300 million. Not bad for a day’s work. And that was only the first release. The next release of Barangaroo apartments will go on sale within 18 months with those who missed out recently getting first dibs at the second-release.

If buying public’s enthusiasm for the second-release matches the mood this time around, it could be hard for a would-be buyer to get a look in. On the other hand, there are plenty of opportunities for Sydney labour hire firms.

When complete, Barangaroo will be home to about 1500 residents in 800 apartments. 23,000 people are expected to work in the two 42- AND 39-storey commercial towers and there will be numerous cafes, restaurants, providores and communal areas, not to mention the vast Headland Park.

All in all, Barangaroo promises to change the way we think about Sydney’s ‘CBD’ and generate numerous construction jobs.