The judgment is in on Australias top 11 property developments

29 July 2010

Australias most impressive urban development projects have been recognised at the 2010 Development Excellence Awards.

Aaron Gadiel, chief executive of the Urban Taskforce, said that these projects represent the pinnacle of achievement for the property industry.


Urban development is an important contributor to our community and lifestyle, Mr Gadiel said.


These awards recognise the efforts developers made to ensure their projects deliver community benefits, care for the environment, are a commercial success, demonstrate innovation and adopt high standards of urban design and architectural distinction.


There has been a wide range of impressive projects for the judges to choose from.


Chris Johnson, chairman of the panel of judges, said that the 2010 Development of the Year was Investa Property Group’s impressive “Ark” building in the heart of North Sydney.


“‘Ark is an outstanding new office building constructed with 28,500 square metres over 21 levels,” Mr Johnson said.


“The office building sets a new approach to architectural form, with its dramatic folded shapes, that can be seen by people flowing from North Sydney station.


“It has created a new optimism for North Sydney.


“The building excels in environmental performance, with a six green star rating.


“It uses tri-generation as a single energy source and rainwater is collected and recycled as grey-water.”


“At the time of practical completion, there were lease commitments for 85 per cent of the building and its now home to Coca-Cola Amatil, Vodafone and many others.


“The development includes a strong commitment to public art with a dramatic painting on the foyer ceiling by Aboriginal artist Freddie Timms and an amusing reinterpretation of the wires from the old telephone exchange.”


The Development Excellence Award for Industrial Development was awarded to Blackmores for its new campus at Warriewood, in Sydney’s northern beaches.


“This amazing building reinforces the values of longetivity, quality, sustainability and health,” Mr Johnson said.


“The building has 3,500 square metres of production space, 9,000 square metres of distribution centre space and 5,000 square metres of office space.


“The 220 staff enjoys the winter gardens and the ‘wellness centre’ located at the heart of the building – here staff can be involved in yoga, gym activities and use the lap pool.


“Environmentally the building sets new standards with heat stacks, labyrinth pre-cooling, rainwater harvesting and sewer mining.


The Development Excellence Award for Commercial Development was given to ATP Partnership for Channel Seven’s new premises, at 8 Central Avenue, Eveleigh in Sydney.


“The Australian Technology Park had been struggling to get a critical mass of commercial tenants,” Mr Johnson said.


“The arrival of Channel 7, with its four TV studios and a 12 storey office building, with a gross lettable area of 62,000 square metres, has given precinct a major boost.


The Development Excellence Award for Masterplanned Communities was given to Brookfield Multiplex for its Vale housing precinct, 35 kilometres from Perth.


“This exciting development draws on ‘new urbanism’ principles to reinforce a sense of arrival, a sense of place and a focus on integrated neighbourhood centres,” Mr Johnson said.


The Development Excellence Award for Residential Apartment Development was won by The Rebel Property Group and Australand Holdings for “North” at Milsons Point in Sydney.


“North is a remarkable adaptive reuse of a commercial office tower into a residential building,” Mr Johnson said.


“A 1960s office building has been converted into a state of the art residential tower with dramatic views over the harbour.


“There are 76 spacious apartments over 15 levels, with a variety of studios, one to three bedroom apartments, and penthouses.

Landcom, Housing NSW and Campbelltown City Council were awarded the Development Excellence Award for Affordable Housing for the “One Minto” development in Sydney’s south west.


“This remarkable project revitalises and completely transforms a public housing estate with social problems,” Mr Johnson said.


“It establishes a benchmark for the careful rethinking of many large public housing estates.

Charter Hall secured the Development Excellence Award for Adaptive Re-use with ‘Home HQ’ in Artarmon on Sydney’s north shore.


“Charter Hall started with a large robust 1950s industrial building – which had previously been a metal fabricating facility,” Mr Johnson said.


“The bold industrial nature of the building was retained and the design has led to a four star green star rating the first such rating for a bulky goods centre in Australia.

Cranbrook Care won the Development Excellence Award for Retirement Living for integrating three heritage buildings into a state of the art residential aged care facility known as “Landsdowne Gardens”.


“The buildings have been converted into 61 suites overlooking Sydney Harbour at Neutral Bay,” Mr Johnson said.


The Development Excellence Award for Retail Development was won by Walker Corporation for the Point Cook Town Centre in Melbourne.


“Refreshingly, this development breaks out of the recent convention which has seen many large retail projects become a totally internal environment,” Mr Johnson said.


“Instead it re-inforces the ‘main street’ and makes a strong contribution to the public domain at comfortable human scale.

Mulpha Australia secured the Development Excellence Award for Heritage Preservation for 99 Macquarie Street, Sydney. “This project is a refurbishment of the beautiful Transport House, built in grand style in 1938,” Mr Johnson said.


“The building was vacated in 1989 and sat idle until its most recent renewal.


“The project demonstrates how a heritage building can be refurbished to attract top tenants and provide exceptional environmental outcomes.”


The Development Excellence Award for Tourism Development was secured by YHA Ltd for the Sydney Harbour YHA and the Big Dig Archaeology Education Centre.


“This is an exceptional project,” Mr Johnson said.


“It’s the first purpose-built environmentally sustainable hostel in a central city location.


The judging panel consisted of former NSW Government Architect, Chris Johnson, Carolyn Cummins, Commercial Property Editor, Sydney Morning Herald, John Ferrarin from WT Partnership, David Tanevski from KWC Capital Partners and John Wynne from Urbis.


The Urban Taskforce is a property development industry group, representing Australias most prominent property developers and equity financiers.



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