Skip to content Skip to main navigation Skip to search

Historic Sussex Street warehouse proposed for $48-million student accommodation redevelopment

July 10, 2018

The former old warehouse will tower up to 16 storeys if the development application goes through. Picture: FJMT

A $48-million student accommodation and apartment complex reaching 16 storeys, converted from a century-old warehouse, has been proposed near Sydney’s Haymarket.

Developer Guansheng Australia Pty Ltd lodged the plans for its two aging buildings at 311-317 Sussex Street to the City of Sydney.

The student accommodation component from levels one to 12 will comprise of 107 beds across 83 units, ranging from studios to shared apartments with common living areas.

The mixed student accommodation and residential development proposal indicates a changing demographic in that end of the Sydney CBD. Image: fjmt The mixed student accommodation and residential development proposal indicates a changing demographic in that end of the Sydney CBD. Image: FJMT

It will include shared communal facilities such as a lounge, study/work hub and games zone on the lower levels. Quieter breakout spaces will be on the upper levels as well as a large shared laundry facility.

“The concept for the lower level common spaces is to provide a more collaborative environment, where tenants can share ideas, work in groups and participate in small presentations, not unlike a start-up or a ‘WeWork’ space,” planning documents wrote.

“Tenants would need to subscribe for access to this space as part of their lease arrangement and the space would not be open to external users other than for guests of the tenants.”

Students studying at nearby universities, including the University of Technology Sydney, Sydney University and the University of Notre Dame, will “substantially occupy” the development’s student housing component during the semester, according to the planning documents. The general public can also rent the units on short-term leases.

The current state of the two buildings facing redevelopment on Sussex Street. Photo: Google Maps The current state of the two buildings facing redevelopment on Sussex Street. Photo: Google Maps

There will also be nine residential apartments between levels 13 and 15.

A “hole in the wall” café has been proposed at the rear entrance at James Lane, one of the oldest heritage-listed laneways in central Sydney, alongside three retail tenancies fronting Sussex Street.

Designed by architects FJMT, the project will yield a gross floor area of 4750 square metres.

The firm could not be reached for comment in time for publication.

Guangsheng Australia bought the two properties for $18 million in August 2014 from businessman and property investor Peter Kazacos and his wife Vicki.

Their company Kaz Property is now developing the 14-storey mixed-use Kaz Tower down the road at number 273-279, which is estimated to have an end value of $100 million. The Kazacos family intends to retain and lease out the property.

The development proposal points to a growing breed of people from overseas or interstate living, working or studying in the CBD.

“This is an opportunity to make a new type of high quality residential building that reflects an integration of life, work and culture for the more transient of city dwellers – predominately students and potentially short-term key workers,” planning documents wrote.

Eleven off-street vehicle spaces, including two car share spots, in an automated parking system with a car stacker and turntable, have been proposed.

Currently a three-storey commercial property, one of the buildings form part of the former Hordern’s Buildings warehouse built in 1914. The majority of the warehouse, which is not heritage-listed, has been demolished.

The existing paint work will be removed to reveal the façade’s historic brickwork.

The former warehouse district at Sussex Street is undergoing a transformation.

A 4.5-star Vibe Hotel with 145 rooms is set to open next door to the proposed student digs at number 319-325 in 2019.

And just down the road, Meriton Group, which is constructing a $152-million tower at 230-238 Sussex Street, is looking to scrap the residential component of the development and convert it into a 32-storey hotel skyscraper with 303 suites. That project is expected to complete in October 2018.

Many developers are converting their residential projects into hotels, especially in Sydney and Melbourne, where off-the-plan apartment sales have slowed.

sign up today