by Jeni Bone
Site preparation work for the multi-billion dollar Darling Harbour redevelopment is underway following the finalisation of financing arrangements for the project.
Darling Harbour revamp
Demolition crews have started working inside the buildings to remove the interiors and disconnect services.
Lend Lease last week said the Darling Harbour Live consortium, in which it has a 50 percent share has reached financial close with Infrastructure NSW (INSW) and the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority (SFHA) for the Public Private Partnership component of the New South Wales government’s $2.5 billion plan to revitalise 20 hectares of the Harbour.
Darling Harbour for the future
The development will reinvigorate the iconic precinct, and the creation of a new International Convention Centre (ICC) Sydney necessitates the demolition of the existing exhibition and convention centre. As well as a convention facility capable of holding four concurrent events with up to 8,000, 2,500, 1,000 and 750 delegates respectively, the new centre will feature 40,000 square metres of exhibition space, more than 40 meeting rooms and an 8,000-seat high class entertainment centre.
A new neighbourhood will be built, with around 1,400 apartments which will become home to 2,000 people with high-tech businesses, apartments, student accommodation (1,000 students), shops, cafes, restaurants and a new city square will emerge progressively at the southern end of the precinct.
Darling Harbour aerial
Describing the proposed facilities as the ‘newest, biggest and best’ in Australia, acting state premier Andrew Stoner said Sydneysiders will see up to 10 cranes dot the skyline over the next three years for the project, which will generate $5 billion during the next 25 years and provide as many as 3,700 construction jobs – 1,600 of which will be on the core facilities alone.
'Today we are one step closer to delivering the most exciting transformation of Darling Harbour in a generation,' he said as the deal was sealed last week.
Construction is set to start early next year, with new facilities scheduled to open late in 2016.