By George! Sydney is finally getting a main street

Thursday 19 March 2015

Sydney's George Street is being reborn with more than $3.5 billion of development in the pipeline and new project for nearly every block between Town Hall and Circular Quay. The catalyst for George Street's makeover is the $2 billion light rail project, which has been more than a decade in the making. "The light rail will make the city sing" City of Sydney Lor Mayor Clover Moore said "George Street is so crowded and noisy and the walk down to Circular Quay is unpleasant. The development is going to be truly transformative." 

At the top of Circular Quay Dalian Wanda, led by Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlin, is going to build a more than $1billion luxury apartment and hotel development at what is now Gold Fields House. Further up, commercial property giants Brookfield Office Properties and Charter Hall will build new state-of-the-art office skyscrapers that will complement the new Wynyard Station. The station is getting its own $100 million upgrade from the state government. Chart Hall joint managing director David Harrion the light rail has prompted building owners to get on board with the vision early. "We would have developed 333 George with or without the light rail but the combination of a natural regeneration of Sydney's best boulevard and the infrastructure changes is accelerating refurbishments - particularly for retail stores that front George Street," he said. "For me as a landlord with lots of large assets fronting George Street including 2 park, 333 George and 1 Martin Place, we think the pedestrianisation of George Street will add significantly to retail rents, amenity for Sydney-siders and servicers for workers."

Some building owners are doing things as simple as upgrading their foyer, such as GPT at the HSBC Centre at 580 George Street, or a retail transformation at Grosvenor Place by owners DEXUS Property Group, Investa and ARIA.

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