Construction has commenced at the landmark MLC centre in Sydney, which will see a $170 million rejuvenation of the retail, dining and theatre components.
Listed property giant and Australia's largest office landlord, Dexus, are leading the project with plans to redevelop 6,000sqm of retail space across four levels. The firm recently secured 100% control of the iconic 67-level commercial and retail tower in Martin Place, after buying GPT's half-share for $800 million in March.
The redevelopment also includes an instalment of luxury and premium retail tenancies fronting Castlereagh and King streets, as well as a food plaza precinct opening onto Martin Place.
The Theatre Royal is also included in the revival plans, with the NSW government planning to sign a 45-year lease to allow for a private theatre operator to manage the space.
Dexus CEO, Darren Steinberg said, “We value the contribution from the NSW State Government to assist in reopening the theatre which will improve the amenity in the precinct and add to Sydney’s night time economy.”
A DA for $150 million of the proposed works was originally submitted in 2015 by the previous co-owners GPT and QIC. Dexus plans to complete the project utilising the current designs by Harry Seidler by the end of 2021.
Harry Seidler and Associates Director Penelope Seidler said, “I am so excited about the design of the new works proposed for the MLC Centre. The integrity of Harry’s original architecture is to be re-established and contrasted with new geometries of internally illuminated glass. The MLC Centre will become the glowing core of the centre of Sydney.”
This project is the latest in a suite of facelift projects for the Martin Place precinct. The construction of a new $380 million metro station, headed by Macquarie Group, has begun construction, with further plans in place for two new commercial towers to be built above.
The precinct is expected to become one of the busiest transport interchanges in Sydney. Designs for the railway project are said to be informed by some of the world’s leading integrated transport-based public precincts; New York’s World Trade Centre station and Hong Kong’s International Finance Centre have been listed as inspirations.
NSW Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, Andrew Constance, said that the undertaking will dramatically improve public transport in the city.
“With the new Martin Place station, customers in the heart of Sydney’s CBD will have access to an unprecedented level of public transport and will be more connected than ever before.”