This week we passed two important milestones that show just how much building and development is going on in the City of Sydney. Both commercial and residential developments are benefiting from the City's approach to development which fosters excellent design and delivers on our community's expectations.
Yesterday I joined Mirvac CEO Susan Lloyd-Hurwitx (above) to cut the ribbon and officially open the first stage of the Harold Park development in Glebe - a site that has been closed to the community for more than 100 years and one that creates 3.8 hectares of new public open space, one third of the site.
This new public open space will link with Orphan School Creek, Harold Park, Jubilee Park and the Glebe Foreshore, creating a 20 hectare green space for the neighbouring community.
Precinct 1 Locarno will be home to more than 600 people who will have easy access the city, the universities and the harbour foreshore. Harold Park also benefits from great transport, including light rail and new cycling and walking networks.
We need greater densities for a more sustainable city, but those densities must be balanced by quality open space.
We also need more affordable housing close to the City, and our voluntary planning agreement with Mirvac includes dedication of land for 5,500 sq m of affordable housing and housing for seniors.
The agreement also included conservation and restoration of the historic tramsheds which will include dedicated space for a community facility, and we've now approved a DA for adaptive reuse of the building.
It has been quite a journey to give a new and very different life to a significant site in a long-established area with such a distinctive character and ethos, and yesterday marked an important stage on that journey. You can read more about the Harold Park development here.
333 George Street
In the city centre, the commencement of construction on the redevelopment of 333 George Street is yet another vote of confidence in our plans to transform George Street into a pedestrian and public transport boulevard.
The transformation of the site began with a City Design Excellence Competition, won by the international award-winning practice, Grimshaw Architects.
The company's design replaces the existing 1970s building with a subtle landmark - a unique commercial building which reflects the legacy of its historic setting and complements the quality of its surrounds.
It will add to the lively mix that is emerging on the street, with A-grade office accommodation, five levels of cascading rooftop terraces, and three levels of quality retail, all set on a prime position adjoining Martin Place, Regimental Square Place and Wynyard Street.
It epitomises so much of what our 2030 work is about: quality development through innovative design, mixed uses to create a diverse and appealing city centre and importantly sustainability.
The building aims for a 5-star Green Star rating and a 5-star NABERS energy rating. High-performance glazing and automatic blinds will limit heat loads, chilled beam air-conditioning, rainwater harvesting and recycling and energy use monitoring add to its green credentials.
There will also be bike parking, showers and other end-of-trip facilities to encourage alternative transport.
This is genuinely 'intelligent design', minimising environmental impacts, offering a healthier work environment, and a design that fosters collaboration and productivity in the workplace while also engaging with the city around it.
This is what cities need if we are to stay abreast of our international competitors. It's what the skilled and mobile young workforce of today expects, and it's what we require if we are to create green and liveable cities for the future.