Sydney office towers to become shopping destinations: Savills

Sydney office towers to become shopping destinations: Savills
Sydney office towers to become shopping destinations: Savills

The next phase of Sydney retail development activity is expected to centre around the bases of office towers, according to Savills’ latest assessment of the CBD market.

This follows the completion of the Westfield Sydney (38,000 square metres of leasing space) and Mid City (9,000 square metres) developments on Pitt Street Mall.

Currently retail and leisure activities occupy 7% of the total floor space in the CBD, according to most recent Sydney City Council surveys.

New retail developments will come on line in several stages over the medium to long term, mainly in the major developments of Barangaroo, Central Park on Broadway and City One, a redevelopment proposal for Wynward Station.

Significant retail activity is expected south of Pitt Street Mall, with a number of new office and retail developments mooted or under construction. 

“One thing is sure: Sydney CBD is undergoing somewhat of a retail renaissance, with new retail being encouraged in laneways, George Street mooted to be pedestrianised (similar to Times Square in New York), and a new dedicated Retail Advisory Panel established to focus on future retailing business in the Sydney CBD,” the report says.

The potential reconfiguration of George Street to support light rail will also have a major effect on George Street retailers following the Sydney City Council announcement that it would set aside $180 million for the proposed light rail and pedestrianisation of the street.

“If this development goes ahead, it will reinforce George Street as the main transport corridor for pedestrians in the city and benefit business in the long run,” the report says.

Other developments likely to encourage CBD retailing include:

  • Sydney City Council is also working with smaller retailers, providing grants to encourage development of laneways and small business to provide a greater depth of retail experience in the Sydney CBD and its villages. 
  • A Retail Advisory Panel has been established to identify and create opportunities for CBD retailers?. 
  • Following the success of “fast fashion” with Zara launching on Pitt Street Mall, Savills says there is anecdotal evidence that “several other global juggernauts are sizing up Australia, with Sydney CBD destined to be a nominated flagship location in each instance”.



    Larry Schlesinger

    Larry Schlesinger

    Larry Schlesinger was a property writer at Property Observer


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