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New Macquarie Park precinct to shake up the suburban business district model

06 May, 19

A new $750 million commercial development in Macquarie Park with strong green credentials looks like it could disrupt suburban business park models so that they become stand alone “CBDs”.

The developers behind a new commercial precinct, Frasers Property Australia and Winten Property Group, are calling the 15,620 square metre site “Australia’s first community business district”.

The ultimate goal of the project, according to Frasers Property Australia executive general manager commercial and industrial Reini Otter, is to “change the way business parks are developed to be their own CBDs”.

“At the centre of every great workplace is community. At the heart of every great place is people,” Mr Otter told The Fifth Estate.

“We have designed with these truths in mind, noting the outdated approach to business park design neglected this.” 

The Bates Smart-designed development will include four buildings ranging from four to 16 storeys high that will contain 83,368 sqm (gross lettable area) of commercial space, 5693 sqm of retail, including a proposed childcare centre and gym. The development will also include a central park with over 2200 sqm of green space. 

The park will be peppered with what Bates Smart director Philip Vivian calls “human spaces”, including an urban plaza, pocket park, retail laneway, roof terraces and north facing balconies.

“A green heart acts as a focal point for leisure and work pursuits. This is where city and soul unite in a new kind of urban hub, where pieces of city making come together to create a rich urban experience,” he said.

 

The new park, located at the entrance to Macquarie Park’s new Metro station, will have a WELL Silver and Core rating, a 5 Star Green Star rating from the Green Building Council of Australia and a minimum 5 Star NABERS base design rating. The precinct will also be NABERS Waste rated.

Mr Otter says that a WELL Silver and Core rating is not common in the suburban office market but occupant wellness is considered important to both developers.

He says there will be an embedded network that will generate rooftop solar energy on site and provide 100 per cent carbon neutral energy certified by the National Carbon Offset Standard to tenants.

Other sustainable features include terracotta facades that integrate solar shielding into the design that will help to reduce the heat load of the office spaces. Light-coloured paving and roof materials in green spaces will also help reduce urban heat island effects and keep occupants and visitors cool. 

The tallest building, MQX 1, will feature winter gardens designed with voids to create break-out spaces and maximise natural lighting. The other buildings will also include rooftop office and terrace spaces, outdoor terraces fronting the streets and access to the winter garden overlooking the park. 

Mr Otter also said the developers were also exploring options for alternative travel modes such as a GoGet hub and ride share opportunities though the Connect Macquarie Park membership and green travel plan.

Thanks to the position of the precinct next to the train station, Mr Otter says the project aims to develop an “activated retail hub” for the business community in the area, which includes the likes of Foxtel, Optus, Orix, Brother, Canon, Hyundai, Dupont and Konica Minolta.

Development approval is expected in August.

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