As one Sydney construction mega project ends, another begins
Two new Sydney mega projects at opposite ends of their journeys will transform significant parts of Sydney, with the new Sydney Football Stadium opening Friday and work beginning on the $1.2 million Victoria Cross Tower in North Sydney.
After over four years of construction, the new Sydney Football Stadium is finally set to open back up on Friday night (2 September) in a double-header of rugby league.
Meanwhile, Lendlease has announced this week that construction is set to begin on its flagship $1.2 billion commercial building and retail precinct in North Sydney, Victoria Cross Tower.
Both projects will be crowd-pullers.
Victoria Cross Tower will accommodate up to 7,000 workers across approximately 58,000 square metres of high-tech, premium space for office and retail use, while the stadium’s $874 million rebuild has resulted in a capacity of 42,500.
The stadium is officially the home of rugby league’s Roosters, Waratahs (Super Rugby union) and Sydney FC (A-League soccer), with the South Sydney rugby league team also keen to share home billing from next season.
The new stadium, which stands next to the famous Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), was delivered 20 per cent over budget but on time, quite a feat in today’s troubled building industry environment. It cost the equivalent of $106 for every man, woman and child in NSW.
The city’s premier rectangular stadium replaces the original Sydney Football Stadium, located at Moore Park and features three levels of seating on either side of the playing arena, steep seating angles, which provide unrivalled views of the field and a 360-degree open concourse inside and outside the venue, which includes contemporary bar and dining options, modern bathrooms and stunning corporate and member facilities.
The innovative and iconic new build was designed by Cox Architecture.
A contractor on the project, Stuart Farrelly, NSW Commercial Sales Manager, CSR Gyprock, said it had to take into account the unique parameters of the football stadium.
“Moderation of the immense sound and energy output of up to 42,500 spectators was key to creating a comfortable experience and products were specified for their aesthetic and performance capabilities.
“Issues included mass volumes of people, foot traffic, noise and the numerous types of rooms requiring specific applications including wet rooms, changing rooms, media rooms, kitchens, restaurants, corridors as well as stands, the functionality and performance criteria that each product had to meet was significant, with the additional considerations of seismic and building code regulations,” Mr Farrelly said.
The promise to rebuild Allianz (the corporate naming rights holder to the new stadium) and Stadium Australia in Sydney Olympic Park was a polarising issue at the 2019 NSW state election.
Legal threats also swirled around the project but NSW Sports Minister Alister Henskens dismissed suggestions the NRL could sue NSW for reneging on the $800m promise to redevelop Stadium Australia - a condition of the competition's contract with the state government in 2018 to keep the grand final in Sydney until 2042.
That later became a deal to refurbish before everything was cancelled in 2020 as the state dealt with Covid.
"That (lawsuit) is unlikely, given nothing has happened for two years and for any specific performance suit, there would need to be a demonstration that a party has acted quickly," Mr Henskens told media.
North Sydney ‘lynchpin’
Rising above North Sydney’s newest Metro station, the 42-storey office tower will be the lynchpin for a new commercial and retail precinct as the region’s resurgence continues. Work will start before the end of the year.
Victoria Cross Station is expected to transform North Sydney’s CBD into one of the most accessible business districts in the city, cutting transit times to places like Barangaroo and Martin Place to mere minutes.
Above it, the 42-storey office tower designed by Bates Smart will be net zero carbon, powered by 100 per cent renewables.
On ground level, there will be an expansive lobby and retail laneway with more than 20 new shops and hospitality brands planned, as well as bars, restaurants and cafes.
Victoria Cross Tower is 25 per cent owned by Lendlease's flagship Australian office fund, APPF Commercial.
Victoria Cross Tower is due to be completed in 2024, with Sydney Metro City & Southwest services set to start in the same year.
Constructing the $1.2 billion precinct will see the building rise approximately one floor each week.
The project will support around 5,000 jobs in fields such as engineering, construction and design, with 90 per cent of the workforce being local to the Sydney area.
Development in North Sydney has ramped up in recent months including, in June, Sydney-based developer Stockland Corporation winning approval for a $1.4 billion, 51-storey office tower in North Sydney.
North Sydney Council approved the development application for Affinity Place. It will be the tallest building in the lower north shore.
Deicorp expects to start work within a month on its $445-million mixed-use project to be built above a recently completed Metro station in Sydney’s north-west.