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The latest big thing- Grocon's 163 Castlereagh St

17 May

Work has just started on the demolition and excavation of the new 163 Castlereagh St tower to be built by Grocon (demolition Metropolitan).
The office tower will be 46story, 188m and will have an interesting public area at ground level. A number of heritage buildings are being refurbished for the site and one is being demolished (Angus and Son, as we speak).

The proposed Pitt Street facade. Architects for the project are Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp (FJMT).

ANZ aims high in Martin Place exodus
Robert Harley and Ben Wilmot. Copyright AFR 25.09.08

The Australia and New Zealand Banking Group is planning to move its Sydney headquarters off
Martin Place and into a new $900 million tower to be built by Sydney private developer John Boyd
Properties and aggressive UK construction giant Laing O’Rourke in the city’s mid-town precinct.
The ANZ, which is developing a huge campus-style headquarters in Melbourne’s Docklands, has
been examining the options for a shift from its ageing 20 Martin Place headquarters for several

The ANZ is believed to have given in principal approval yesterday to the shift from Martin Place to
163 Castlereagh Street, though neither the bank nor the developers would comment.

The move will reinforce the banking industry’s exit from Martin Place. And it is a coup for John Boyd
Properties and Laing O’Rourke at a time when the global financial crisis has curtailed the leasing
activity of many major corporations.

The 163 Castlereagh Street site covers almost half a hectare of older city buildings opposite the new
Sydney Hilton and close to Town Hall Station in a fast improving sector of the city.

The Boyd proposal for a three-sided, 44-storey tower with a lettable area of 57,000 square metres is
one of the largest in Sydney. The developer will target a five-star Green Star environmental rating,
but the building would have the capacity to move to six-star.

ANZ is expected to lease around 27,000 sq m in the tower, which could be completed by the end of

The bank’s move into the tower will also be crucial in the slow Sydney development market.
Relatively few financial services companies are looking for space in the wake of the market

In recent years, a number of the ANZ’s rivals have moved away from Martin Place.
Westpac shifted its headquarters from 60 Martin Place in Sydney to the purpose-built Westpac Place
in Sydney’s Kent Street.

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia has no plans to shift its headquarters from 48 Martin Place but
it will relinquish leased properties around the city after precommitting to the $560 million Darling
Walk development at Darling Harbour, being developed in a 50:50 joint venture with the Lend

Lease-managed Australian Prime Property Fund and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority’s Australian
arm, Harina. CBA has already taken about 51,000 sq m in Tower One of the Darling Park complex.
Laing O’Rourke started operating in Australia in 2004 and expanded with the purchase of
construction and services company Barclay Mowlem in 2006. It has since picked up major office
projects in Brisbane from Dexus Property Group and APH Capital Partners, as well infrastructure work
such as the Alice Springs to Darwin Railway, but the Sydney tower will be one of its most ambitious

Laing O’Rourke’s recently established Explore Development Funds Management is expected to
partner with Mr Boyd’s private group in developing the project in the first major deal to emerge from
the business.

Explore manages a closed-end, opportunistic development fund that is designed to work with the
group’s existing property development business and leverage third-party capital into development

Explore’s commitment is likely to assist in putting together a financing package – a key element in the
tower proceeding.

The progress of the Boyd site is being closely watched by the group’s rivals.


· The 163 Castlereagh Street site covers almost half a hectare.
· The plan is to build a 44-storey tower with a lettable area of 57,000 square metres.