Contracts signed and construction to commence on Sydney’s new convention, exhibition and entertainment hub at Darling Harbour

Published on : Friday, December 6, 2013

sydney convention centre logoThe transformation of Darling Harbour into one of the world’s best places to live, meet and be entertained is about to get underway, with Financial Close completed today and construction work to start on Monday 9th December. Darling Harbour Live, which comprises Lend Lease, HOSTPLUS, Capella Capital, AEG Ogden and Spotless, will deliver three world class convention, exhibition and entertainment venues, more public spaces and improved pedestrian connections, to be completed by late 2016.

This significant infrastructure project is being delivered through a Public Private Partnership (PPP) with the NSW Government and DHL. Financial Close on the PPP has been completed, confirming the financial arrangements for the project, including funding from Lend Lease who will invest fifty per cent of the equity alongside the national industry superannuation fund for tourism and hospitality, HOSTPLUS.

Chief Executive Officer of Darling Harbour Live, Malcolm Macintyre said, “This is the first PPP in NSW since 2008, with an estimated capital cost of circa $A1 billion. Reaching Financial Close is an important stage in the project delivery and it also gives the private sector a lot of confidence that the NSW Government is committed to attracting investment into the state and creating significant economic benefits though large scale development. This is further reflected in HOSTPLUS’ decision to co-invest to help build the future and economic development of its own industry.

“The Darling Harbour Live team is very excited about starting on site next week. We have a renowned architectural design team in HASSELL and Populous; and Lend Lease who are undertaking design and construction management, has proven experience in successfully delivering great buildings in and around Darling Harbour. Over the past 18 months, we have consulted extensively with stakeholders and the local community and we will not only create memorable buildings, but also great public spaces and better pedestrian connections that will revitalise Darling Harbour and make it even more popular.”

From 9th December, after the existing convention and exhibition centre closes, Lend Lease will start site preparation works. During December, the team will work inside the buildings to remove interior fittings and disconnect services, followed by initial infrastructure works on Darling Drive and in Exhibition Place. After the Australia Day public holiday on Monday 27th January, hoardings will be erected around the existing buildings. Demolition works commence in February and will be completed mid-year, and then Lend Lease will start construction of the three world class facilities.

The construction program will create around 1,600 jobs and once completed, the facilities will provide employment for around 1,750 people, covering everything from catering through to facilities management.

“We will continue to work closely with the NSW Government, in particular Infrastructure NSW and the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority (SHFA), throughout the construction phase. Our priority is to work safely, and with minimal impact to our neighbours, so that everyone can continue to enjoy Darling Harbour, particularly with the exciting line up of events that are planned by SHFA. In that regard, we will start major works after the coming holiday season concludes.”

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