It was an eventful week for Sydney as plans for its "rejuvenation" post-pandemic began to unfold — on the list was the first approval secured for the soon-to-rise Tech Central in the central business district .

It was an eventful week for Sydney as plans for its "rejuvenation" post-pandemic began to unfold — on the list was the first approval secured for the soon-to-rise Tech Central in the central business district (CBD).

The New South Wales Department of Planning, Industry and Environment recently announced the approval of anchor-tenant Atlassian’s new 40-storey headquarters and the rezoning or more land for new tech players.

Atlassian’s HQ, expected to be the world's tallest hybrid timber tower, will accommodate 5,000 operational jobs.

The $546m tower is set to begin construction in the first half of 2022 and is projected to be completed by 2026.

Meanwhile, a competitive design competition is currently underway for the rezoning of the Parcel Post building and Henry Deane Plaza, which is scheduled to be finalised later this year

Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Rob Stokes said these recent approvals are considered significant milestones in the government's efforts to “rejuvenate” the urban landscape.

"The revamp of Central Station and delivery of Tech Central will create a commercial core in the City’s south that would include a public domain with new open space, shops and cafes all on top of the rail corridor," he said.

"This project is a vote of confidence in the Sydney CBD and brings new employment space close to Central Station, providing easy access to jobs, homes and services."

Property Council’s NSW Executive Director Luke Achterstraat said the Tech Central is set to create Australia’s answer to Silicon Valley, making Sydney the home of the biggest technology hub of its kind in the country.

“The future belongs to Sydney with Tech Central being home to Australia’s first hub for Quantum Computing start-ups, The National Space Industry Hub, as well the Cybersecurity Placement Program,” he said.

“This is great news as we begin to recover from the aftermath of COVID, to have innovative mega-developments like this on their way only reinforces us as a dominant global city.”

“The concept of a thriving ecosystem of world-class universities, start-ups and tech is expected to create 25,000 jobs by 2036 and we expect it to be recognised from all around the world.”

Public domain plans approved

Sydney's city council recently approved three public domain projects covering the Town Hall, the City South, and the Chinatown precinct.

The projects include a $5m infrastructure investment in the historic Chinatown precinct and a $10m upgrade of Belmore Park near Central station.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said these plans build on the city's success in transforming the CBD.

"The pandemic has showed just how important our public spaces in the heart of our city are to provide solace, as well as room to move, meet with friends and dine outdoors," she said.

"As we accelerate our plans to create a more connected and walkable city, the importance of seizing every opportunity to create new public spaces is at the front of mind."

Chinatown public domain plan

Since 2010, several initiatives have been rolled out for the Chinatown precinct, with the recent one being the $43.5m George Street south pedestrianisation project that transformed the Haymarket area.

The additional $5m investment for Chinatown improvements will include the revival of the Dixon Street Mall and a refurbishment of the Dixon Street gates. There are also plans to upgrade amenities at Quay Street.

Future projects for this precinct include the following:

  • footpath widening and more space for people walking and new seating on Sussex Street between Goulburn and Hay streets
  • a separated cycleway and footpath widening on Ultimo Road between Harris and Thomas streets
  • footpath widening, more space for people walking and new seating on Harbour Street eastern side.

City South public domain

Plans for under the City South public domain will touch on the design development for Belmore Park. This will provide basis to the coordinated plan for Tech Central.

Also underway are several projects that involve George Street south extension and the further pedestrianisation south of Rawson Street to the Pitt Street intersection at Railway Square.

Currently there are talks about works in Campbell Street, St Laurence Lane, Parker Street and laneway, Randle Lane, and Cunningham Street, which would see new laneways and slow streets that prioritise walking and riding.

Town Hall Public Domain.

There are three recommended project priorities under the Town Hall Public Domain.

First is the planned Town Hall Square, which is slated to be opposite the Sydney Town Hall. 

There are also plans to set up a Sydney Square, which will provide a quiet place for local workers, visitors, and shoppers.

Lastly, Park and Druitt streets are expected to get a facelift as foot traffic is expected to increase given the completion of the new Pitt Street Metro Station.

Photo by Photoholgic on Unsplash.