A $25 million state-of-the-art creative hub featuring dance, theatre, music, film and visual arts facilities will be built in the heart of the city following an agreement between the City of Sydney and property developer Greenland Australia.
An Australian first, the hub will span 2,000 square metres over five storeys, and will be located in what is set to be Sydney’s tallest residential tower at the former Sydney Water site on Bathurst Street.
In addition to the hub, the $440 million, 67-storey development will feature 490 residential apartments and ground-floor retail space, while a 173-room hotel will be built on a neighbouring site fronting Pitt Street.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the landmark project would bring significant economic, cultural and community benefits to Sydney.
“Sydney remains the leading global city of Australia and this project, along with the recently approved light rail project, are great examples of the major infrastructure projects being pursued by the City in partnership with the business sector and other levels of government,” the Lord Mayor said.
“In the last ten years the City of Sydney has approved $25 billion worth of development and the next ten years are set to be just as big – we know there’s an estimated $8 billion worth of development in Green Square alone.
“We actively encourage design excellence in commercial and residential developments and in our own public projects. Over the last decade, City projects have won more than 40 national and international design awards.
“Our commitment to design excellence and sustainability has resulted in numerous landmark commercial developments in the city, and I’m sure this new development with Greenland will become an iconic part of Sydney’s skyline and reinforce our status as a global city and the Australian gateway for international business and tourism.
“The project will support growth in central Sydney and provide housing and important cultural facilities for our community. The creative hub also sets an exciting precedent for the inclusion of world-class cultural facilities in private developments.
“Creating affordable workspace for artists, designers and other creative practitioners is a priority. We are committed to working with businesses, retailers and property developers to unlock and create space for artists and our growing creative industries.
“We hope this will be the first of many agreements leading to much-needed creative and community space being incorporated into both new and existing developments across the city.”
The City has signed a 99-year lease for the creative hub via a Voluntary Planning Agreement with Greenland Australia.
The announcement comes just weeks after the City launched its first-ever cultural policy, which proposes more than 120 actions for boosting culture and creativity in Sydney.
The hub will feature architect-designed rehearsal spaces, customised studios, offices and production rooms, and a live/work apartment to be made available for a creative fellowship program.
Facilities will include soundproofed rooms for music rehearsals, studios with sprung timber floors for dancers and actors, media and editing suites for filmmakers and new media artists, and wet/dry studios for visual artists.
Sherwood Luo, managing director of Greenland Australia, said: “Greenland has been developing properties in over 100 cities around the world and has always been delighted to work with state and local governments to meet the city and community needs.
“Working with the City of Sydney to develop the creative hub has been a fantastic journey thus far, and Greenland Australia will continue building this firmly established relationship with the city to deliver a high- class facility for the community.”
The creative industries sector is one of the fastest growing in the City of Sydney, with a recent study showing that nearly 1,900 creative businesses employ more than 35,000 people across the local government area.
Award-winning actor, producer and writer, Claudia Karvan, said the creative hub was an exciting initiative that would make a major difference to Sydney’s creative community.
“Affordable space in Sydney is scarce, so it’s fantastic that the City’s new cultural policy is unlocking affordable work spaces in Sydney.
“It’s essential to give local artists and creative teams spaces where they can progress their ideas – facilities like this new hub are the building blocks for Sydney’s future creative life.” The development is expected to open in late 2017.