The move by David Jones’ South African owner to sell the Market Street store four years ago allowed the company to recycle capital, consolidating its effort at the nearby Elizabeth Street store.
In a similar move last year, Woolworths flagged plans to exit the ownership and occupation of its menswear store in Melbourne’s Bourke Street mall to focus on the refurbishment of its flagship store on the opposite side of the street.
Closing the door on the Market Street property held by David Jones since the 1930s- it sold for $360 million-paved the way for the new owners to embark on a redevelopment that responds to a very different world of working, shopping and living.
Design by architecture firm fjmt, a curved 22-storey residential tower will rise from the heritage retail store, home to 101 ritzy apartments in the center of the CBD.
Cbus Property will also deliver six levels of serviced office space, around 11,500 square meters in all. That office space will maintain a strong connection to the retain space below, which is controlled by Scentre and will become an extension to the Westfield Sydney shopping mall.
For Cbus Property chief executive Adrian Pozzo, the project is testament to the strategy that the superannuation fund developer is keen to deploy across major projects where it can.
“We are trying to paint the whole picture in one development,” he said.
“Where possible we will attempt to integrate at least two uses, and potentially three. It’s what the market wants. We’re meeting the changing demands of individuals and corporates.”
Cbus Property was well under way with a similar approach at a massive mixed-use project on Collins Street in Melbourne, a twin tower development joined by a sky bridge which has been dubbed the Pantscraper. That project compromises traditional office space with apartments, a hotel and retail.
It was about developing real estate that recognized the very different ways people lead their lives today, Mr. pozzo said. “Once upon a time you’d turn up at 9am and go home at 5 pm. Now people turn up to 9am and go home at 6am. We’re trying to provide amenity which caters for all workers.”
Development approval is expected as early as next month when Cbus Property will begin marketing the residences. They developer will go ahead with redevelopment without the requirement of pre-sales target.
The residential component consists of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. At the top are a group of four-bedroom apartments including a penthouse.
New residents will have exclusive access to a swimming pool, social spaces and podium gardens as well.
“People can go downstairs to Scentre’s retail and get their food that is prepared on a daily basis. The world has changed dramatically,” Mr. Pozzo said.