Stockland plans to supersize its St Leonards renewal opportunity

Two months after planning manoeuvres came to light facilitating the delivery of two major skyscrapers in Crows Nest, adjacent St Leonards is potentially up for a similar scaled development.

Stockland has identified 601 Pacific Highway as ripe for renewal, enlisting Architectus to create a planning proposal for two hulking towers. Spanning 63 levels and 45 levels, the taller of the duo would stand in excess of 200 metres above ground, whilst the shorter tower reaches approximately 145 metres.

The real estate company's push to realise the site's rezoning and subsequent redevelopment in light of the NSW Department of Planning and Environment's strategic review of the St Leonards and Crows Nest Station Precinct which effectively encourages intensified development in the area.

Standing as a 13 storey A-grade office tower approximately 200 metres east of St Leonards railway station, the asset was acquired by Stockland during 2003 with an eye toward a future renewal opportunity.

Podium space envisaged for 601 Pacific Highway. Planning image: Architectus

That opportunity will under preliminary plans see Stockland chase a predominantly residential outcome across the site, with 500 plus apartments expected. 5 basement levels for 255 vehicles are included, as is a mixed-use 7 level podium.

Office space is slated for the podium above ground floor retail uses, with community uses such as a childcare facility spanning almost 2,000 square metres.

In Architectus' words "601 Pacific Highway will be a place where people shop, live, work and gather to enjoy the public domain. The indicative concept design results in a design outcome which will strengthen the town centre with active and engaging ground floors and provide an iconic tower appropriate to its strategic location."

Stockland's bid is comfortably the largest proposal for the suburb north of Sydney's CBD. St Leonard's rapidly evolving skyline sees existing towers reaching 35 levels, whilst 617-621 Pacific Highway has approval in place for a 180 metre residential tower.

617-621 Pacific Highway abuts the Stockland site.

601 Pacific Highway and within an emerging built form context. Planning image: Architectus

Urbis compiled the Economic Impact Assessment for the rezoning of 601 Pacific Highway, making note that "North Sydney, Macquarie Park and Chatswood are now deemed more attractive for traditional office occupiers. The following market evidence indicates that this trend will continue for the foreseeable future:"

Although 7,500 square metres of office space is included within the planning proposal, it falls short of the existing building's 12,600 square metres.

Architectus' design for 601 Pacific Highway would potentially accommodate as many as 1,187 new residents, whilst an additional full-time, part-time and casual retail job rate of 109 is envisaged.

For Stockland, the bid to rezone the Pacific highway site reaffirms its re-emergence as an apartment developer in Sydney. The St Leonards site aside, Stockland has in its keep a 6237 square metre Rosebery development site and a Parramatta opportunity on the corner of Church Street and Victoria Road with plans approximately 350 apartments.

A childcare centre with a view. Planning image: Architectus
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