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Plans for Australian ‘Silicon Valley’ enter new phase

13 Aug 20 A milestone has been reached in the creation of Sydney’s future ‘Silicon Valley’ with the rezoning of land for an initial AU$2.5bn (£1.4bn) development.

The New South Wales (NSW) government has rezoned the first parcel of land needed for the transformation of Sydney's Railway Square into 'Tech Central'. The AU$2.5 billion Central Place development by Dexus-Frasers will form a key part of the rezoned precinct.

Dexus and Frasers Property Australia has appointed Fender Katsalidis and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill as the architects for Central Place Sydney development. Their winning design was selected following the first City of Sydney design competition run entirely online.

“Located alongside the new Atlassian headquarters, Central Place alone will deliver over 150,000 square metres of commercial floor space for technology and innovation companies,” said Stuart Ayres, the minister for jobs, investment, tourism and Western Sydney. “The project will support more than 700 jobs in construction and more than 10,000 jobs once complete. It will help cement innovation and technology as key drivers of growth, contributing to secure job creation across all industries.”

Dexus CEO Darren Steinberg said the tech-focused design comprises two office towers of up to 39 levels and a landmark sculptural building. The scheme will adopt 100 per cent renewable energy and a range of ‘healthy’ building initiatives including touchless entry points and potential for the world’s first closed cavity façade system powered by artificial intelligence and solar glass.

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“The future of work and workplaces will be defined by the technology and innovation businesses who will occupy this precinct, with Central Place Sydney set to become a leading innovative workplace and a global exemplar of city centre regeneration,” he said.

The rezoning unlocks 24 hectares of government land in and around Australia’s busiest transport interchange. The new area being developed will expand Sydney’s southern central business district.

Minister for transport and roads Andrew Constance said: “This is an important piece of the puzzle to transform the area through uniting a world-class transport interchange with innovative and diverse businesses and high-quality public spaces. It will embrace design, sustainability and connectivity, while celebrating Central’s unique built form and social and cultural heritage while becoming a centre for the jobs of the future and economic growth.”

Central Place is currently in Stage 3 of the NSW government’s Unsolicited Proposals process.

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