Billionaire Lang Walker has been granted approval for the development of two commercial towers in Sydney’s west as part of the $2 billion Parramatta Square urban renewal precinct.
Mr Walker, one of Australia’s richest men, has been pushing ahead on major developments across Australia, including the $500 million Festival Plaza tower in Adelaide and his multi-tower commercial project Collins Square in Melbourne.
His private company, Walker Corporation, plans to develop five buildings in the Parramatta Square precinct, one of the biggest urban renewal projects in Australia.
The proposed buildings include three office towers, the Aspire apartment tower and another building for the City of Parramatta council.
The Joint Regional Planning Panel has approved the company’s proposal for Tower 4 and Tower 6, which have a combined lettable area of 110,000sq m and 6000sq m of retail space across three podium levels.
Several large companies were in talks to lease office space in the tower designed by architects JPW, Mr Walker said.
“With vacancy rates at a record low of 1 per cent, we are very confident of attracting both large and small tenants to the towers and we are in advanced discussions with a range of major companies,” he said.
The company is considered the top contender for the NSW government’s 62,000sq m leasing requirement, which will see thousands of public servants shifted from the Sydney CBD.
Scentre has also proposed a 40-level office tower to house the government requirement, while Dexus Property Group has also advanced a major tower. Walker will also create an 8000sq m public domain on behalf of the council that will become a restaurant, bars and cafe hub with connection to the retail area.
“Parramatta Square will be the new heart of western Sydney. There’s a vibrant, growing population of young, highly educated individuals in Parramatta driving this change,” Mr Walker said.
“These commercial towers will set a new benchmark, with amenities and premium office space for the public and blue-chip tenants.”
With archaeological works under way and excavation expected early next year, the company anticipated that Tower 4 would be completed in mid-2019 and Tower 6 would be available for occupants in 2020.
The company is also expected to lodge an application for another $320m commercial tower known as 3 Parramatta Square later this year.
The company is still in discussions to finalise a plan for the residential Aspire Tower, which may be lower than the proposed 90 storeys due to aviation concerns.