Aqualand’s Central Barangaroo Project: Reduced Scale, Enhanced Public Spaces, and Community Engagement on Display

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Prominent Sydney developers Aqualand, have confirmed the advancement of redesigned plans for the Central Barangaroo harbourfront precinct, which they recently made public. The proposed development aims to repurpose the currently vacant northern portion of the site into a cultural and entertainment destination. Aqualand’s Barangaroo project now includes the addition of restaurants, bars, retail spaces, cultural facilities, a luxury hotel, and apartments, all surrounded by public spaces.

The envisioned Central Barangaroo will boast a diverse range of offerings, including restaurants, bars, retail spaces, cultural facilities, a luxury hotel, and residential apartments, all integrated into generous and lively public spaces. The development plan will outline seven smaller buildings, each designed with an active ground floor featuring retail outlets, bars, restaurants, and other hospitality venues, contributing significantly to central Sydney’s night time economy.

Aqualand's Central Barangaroo Harbourside Concept Render
Aqualand’s Central Barangaroo Harbourside Concept Render (Image: Aqualand)
Aqualand's Central Barangaroo Project - Streetscape Architectural Render
Aqualand’s Central Barangaroo Project – Streetscape Architectural Render (Image: Aqualand)

In the middle of 2023, Aqualand made public its collaboration with SJB, a prominent local architecture firm, along with a diverse design team. This strategic partnership was set to spearhead the masterplan redesign process for their waterfront Central Barangaroo site, aiming to reshape the last parcel of Barangaroo development into an energetic cultural and entertainment hub. The envisioned transformation was to include the addition of harborside apartments and a hotel, departing from the previous focus on commercial offices.

Tim Robertson, Project Director for Central Barangaroo, stated that Aqualand is focused on delivering a lifestyle destination with vibrant public spaces.

“Aqualand is delighted to reveal our plans for the final piece of the Barangaroo precinct and look forward to delivering an exceptional lifestyle destination for everyone to enjoy.

“Our focus is on delivering an exceptional lifestyle destination for all Sydneysiders and visitors, with generous and lively public spaces punctuated by restaurants, cafes, and bars. Central Barangaroo will be the lively, beating heart of the precinct.”

Aqualand's Central Barangaroo Location Map
Aqualand’s Central Barangaroo Location Map

Acknowledging past concerns, Robertson mentioned Aqualand’s engagement with the community during the public consultation process, noting modifications to address feedback. The reduction in the development’s scale by around 30% is highlighted, with a particular focus on increasing public space and removing a tower from the northern part of the site.

“We’ve engaged earnestly with the community, we sat in their living rooms through winter, listened intently to their views, and modified the proposal materially in response. We acknowledge that a small number of people will not be satisfied with our approach, but this project will deliver a tremendously positive outcome for the city and we’re immensely proud of that.”

“The clarity of direction from the Government over the last nine months in particular has provided a much greater focus on the public dividend from the project. That’s led to improved view sharing, more generous public spaces, greater connectivity through the precinct, and an enhanced outcome overall.” “We’re eager to move forward and start construction as soon as possible. The project has suffered from delays and inconsistent direction over the last few years – which we feel confident is now behind us,”

Detailed architectural design for the individual buildings, involving a mix of international and Australian architects, is set to begin. Construction is expected to start by the end of 2024, with completion targeted for around 2029.

The Modification Application is open for public exhibition from January 11 to February 7, 2024. Aqualand aims for approval before Easter.

About Aqualand

Established in 2014, Aqualand stands as an award-winning Australian development firm specializing in luxury property, hospitality, and investment. Over the years, the Aqualand Group has expanded its portfolio to include Aqualand, AL Capital, and Etymon Projects. Currently undertaking the construction of the Aura Residences, an opulent residential development situated in the core of North Sydney, the company is actively contributing to a comprehensive mixed-use redevelopment initiative for the land at 168 Walker St, North Sydney.

Note: The information presented in this article is for general informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal, financial, or professional advice. While we make every effort to fact-check and verify the information presented, we cannot guarantee its accuracy or completeness. Readers are encouraged to independently verify any information they find on our website and to consult with relevant professionals before making any decisions based on the information presented. The Australian Development Review does not own the rights to the information included within this article, and furthermore, there is no infringement intended from the included text and images within.


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