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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Sydney super site to house $1.8b eco tower to rival Atlassian’s
Martin Kelly
Reporter
Nov 25, 2021 – 5.00am

TrueGreen Positive Impact Group has quietly amassed a 2000 square metre plus holding across four linked office buildings in central Sydney at a cost of about $200 million on which it plans to build a $1.8 billion, 49-storey “marquee green tower” by 2026.


KingsGreen, a new sustainable tower proposed for the Sydney CBD.

The sites in the King, Clarence and York Street precinct between Town Hall and Wynyard were bought off-market over the past two years and are located in one of the city’s tower cluster zones, which allow buildings up to 330 metres high.
It all started with the strata aggregation of 71 York Street, which CBRE agent Harry George presented as a stand-alone opportunity in late 2019, to TrueGreen Group founder Kirk Tsihlis, who saw the bigger picture, and went from there.

TrueGreen, which describes itself as a “positive impact investor in the clean-tech space”, has since acquired through its
Alpha Fund control of the buildings at 104-118 Clarence Street and 73 York Street before completing the set with the key strategic acquisition of 50 King Street for $52 million two weeks ago.

That final piece of the puzzle is crucial because 50 King will provide a prestigious street address, allow construction of a grand multi-level entrance lobby and enable the main tower to be built with a side-core for lifts, resulting in larger floor plates.

Most importantly, 50 King Street takes the total holding to 2143 square metres, well past the 2000 square metre footprint threshold needed to build a super tower.


Mr Tsihlis said the tower is called KingsGreen and that he “fell in love with the site, fell in love with the concept, fell in love with the idea of making a green statement at that particular location against a backdrop of the heritage facades.

Respecting the past and the future

“It’s a blend of Sydney’s history with Sydney’s future, and it’s also a blend of the older building methodology and the new frontier.”



Scott Taylor, chief executive of TrueGreen, said sustainability through construction and operation is key to its goal of creating Australia’s tallest and largest engineered timber office building, a vertical village respectful of the lower level historic facades.

Mr Taylor said the building will be powered by renewable energy, reducing operational carbon and embodied carbon by 50 per cent, while it will be “water positive” through initiatives such as rainwater harvesting and recycling.

“The Atlassian building is creating the next benchmark. What we want to do is continue to lift the bar in terms of seven-star rated buildings in the CBD,” Mr Taylor said.

“We recognise the current benchmarks and want to take it a step further.

“We will be making sure how we build it is just as sustainable as how we live with the building.”

A major commercial objective is to showcase the low emission building products and techniques developed by businesses that TrueGreen has invested in through its GreenPlaces division, including Viridi, Consystex and Metsquare.

He said TrueGreen is building its conceptual plan for KingsGreen.

“We’re looking at off-market opportunities to tenant, market and develop the building and will go to formal market process next year.

“All the engagements we’re having are coming through contacts and networks and discussions. It’s fair to say we’re getting a lot of interest from all quarters.”

 

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Is it just me, or is the $1.8bil a compete over exaggeration just to get approval?
As an investment, you could get the same income stream just by buying a $1bil tower with reduced risk.

Any ideas what the floor space might be?, its hard to judge what each floor plate size will be.
 

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I know Cul's Google Earth model is far superior, however, I have my own one I play around with too.

I put in a quick 50 King St mock-up.

Height RL 235m, 215m from ground level.

Floor plate 1,225 sqm.







 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Is it just me, or is the $1.8bil a compete over exaggeration just to get approval?
As an investment, you could get the same income stream just by buying a $1bil tower with reduced risk.

Any ideas what the floor space might be?, its hard to judge what each floor plate size will be.
I think $1.8 billion refers to the end value, not the construction cost. And the estimate is pretty consistent with recent commercial sales activity - Dexus bought a 50% share in the MLC Centre (a similar height in a similar midtown location) for $800 million in 2019, implying an overall valuation of $1.6 billion.

Assuming a relatively stock standard 1,500m2 floor plate with 40 floors of commercial space, we’re probably looking at around 60,000m2 of space in total.

Can already see that a 2026 end date is ambitious, it’ll take years to get this through the planning system before it’s even ready for construction. Best case scenario in my mind:
  • Stage 1 DA: 2022
  • Stage 2 DA: 2023
  • Construction starts: 2024
  • Completion and occupation: 2028
 

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wow, looks fabulous. we havent seen anything yet so hoping a stage1 in 2022
 
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i just drew up a simple tower 200m high.just looking at shape in render
looks like a service core extends out to king st. with a large rectangular floor plate
great spot for a tower






 

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Honestly, the assessment process should take 6-9 months, 12 months in exceptional circumstances.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
^^
Yep coming from Brisbane, which has a much faster and more streamlined development assessment process, Sydney was (and still is) a shock to the system.

Brisbane has a tiered development assessment process with:
  • Code assessment: these are typically for smaller projects (such as a new restaurant or bar fitout), do not require public exhibition and are quick to assess
  • Impact assessment: these are typically for bigger projects (such as a new tower), require public exhibition and take longer to assess.

Two key distinctions between Impact Assessment in Brisbane and the Sydney planning system are
  • There is no need to lodge a Stage 1 DA in Brisbane, only a Stage 2 DA
  • There is no need to undertake a design competition in Brisbane, only a Stage 2 DA

As a result, big developments are assessed and approved in a much quicker timeframe in Brisbane. This gives confidence to developers and helps mitigate a backlog in development assessments for Council.

I would like to see Stage 1 DAs waived in Sydney for those developments that are compliant with Local Environmental Plans (height, FSR, land use, parking provision etc). Furthermore, Development Control Plans could be strengthened by Councils to eliminate the need for design competitions (you could identified character areas in the City of Sydney for example that influence the design process prior to a Stage 2 DA being lodged…that might be a requirement for sandstone in the podium of a new CBD tower, sunshades for west facing facades or terraces that step back to higher development on inner city high streets).
 

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Every inch of this entire block is lined with gorgeous victorian facades. I wonder how they're planning on carving out a modern entrance for this tower
 

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sky---depends if this goes through state planning or scc.
as a planning proposal or regular da.
sounds like this company is keen so things will move quicker.
 

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Every inch of this entire block is lined with gorgeous victorian facades. I wonder how they're planning on carving out a modern entrance for this tower
the king st entry ,
im sure they will work something out
 

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so where is the 200m height from? i worked out that tower is about 220m. so its in a 330m zone? why wouldnt they go for height?
 

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Is the site large enough to reach 330m? It seems to be about two thirds the area of the 56 Pitt site.
 

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Fsr is the issue ,being office you need larger floors which lowers the height ,yes over 2000sqm means it's a super tower so it gets bonus fsr and height, maybe 200-235m will be max
 

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^^
Yep coming from Brisbane, which has a much faster and more streamlined development assessment process, Sydney was (and still is) a shock to the system.

Brisbane has a tiered development assessment process with:
  • Code assessment: these are typically for smaller projects (such as a new restaurant or bar fitout), do not require public exhibition and are quick to assess
  • Impact assessment: these are typically for bigger projects (such as a new tower), require public exhibition and take longer to assess.

Two key distinctions between Impact Assessment in Brisbane and the Sydney planning system are
  • There is no need to lodge a Stage 1 DA in Brisbane, only a Stage 2 DA
  • There is no need to undertake a design competition in Brisbane, only a Stage 2 DA

As a result, big developments are assessed and approved in a much quicker timeframe in Brisbane. This gives confidence to developers and helps mitigate a backlog in development assessments for Council.

I would like to see Stage 1 DAs waived in Sydney for those developments that are compliant with Local Environmental Plans (height, FSR, land use, parking provision etc). Furthermore, Development Control Plans could be strengthened by Councils to eliminate the need for design competitions (you could identified character areas in the City of Sydney for example that influence the design process prior to a Stage 2 DA being lodged…that might be a requirement for sandstone in the podium of a new CBD tower, sunshades for west facing facades or terraces that step back to higher development on inner city high streets).
Sorry sky, even though I agree the whole process is such a drag here and timeframe could be cut in half (there should be a mandate on this), but the above reason is why there is so much shite buildings going up in Brisbane.
 

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The planning and approval process is bureaucratic and byzantine but to toss the design competitions to improve timing and cost would be a retrograde step given how many excellent, unexpected and exciting designs the competitions have given, way beyond what would result from the usual process of engaging an architect and proceeding with whatever that architect comes up with as long as it fulfils council regulations.
 

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It's a stringent process that theoretically (and often does most of the time) result in stunning, top notch designs. However, stuff like Greenland and the Castle Residences have somehow still managed to sneak through to approval
 
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