Following community consultation, Auswin TWT has lodged a Development Application for the largest and most important residential development in Ultimo’s history.
New Life/Ultimo is a $300-Million project at 495 Harris Street that will hasten the gentrification of the undervalued and often unappreciated inner Sydney suburb. Ultimo is on the edge of Darling Harbour, Chinatown and Barangaroo, and well connected to light rail and bus services, yet RP Data research shows that the median price for an apartment is 30% less than its northern-most neighbour, Pyrmont.
“Those with vision will appreciate that Ultimo will improve and prosper just like Pyrmont has, lifting property values as it regenerates,” said Ben Stewart of CBRE.
Simon Platt of Kinsale Property Group is another realtor who believes the Auswin TWT development will give Ultimo its biggest boost since 2007 when the Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre opened.
“Ultimo is somewhat of a forgotten suburb on the doorstep of the CBD, yet it has all the attributes of being a property ‘hot spot’,” Mr Platt said.
The multi-layered New Life/Ultimo steps down from nine-storeys along Harris Street to six levels facing Bulwara Road. It has a total of 210 apartments ranging from studios to three-bedrooms, including two-level terraces with street level access. There also will be ground floor retail/commercial space and two basement levels for vehicles and bicycles, bringing the Gross Floor Area to around 20,000sqm.
The design, from Architectus, features a large open air courtyard and a purpose-built pedestrian laneway running from Harris Street through to Bulwara Road, which will be enlivened with specially commissioned public artworks. Another important element is the creation of a number of ‘slots’ and walkways into the development that allow passers-by to see in, and residents to look out, and which brings light and sunshine into the courtyard.
“These features were met with approval when we held two information sessions for residents,” said the General Manager of Auswin TWT, Stephen Fitzpatrick. “There is great interest in our plans because this site is extremely prominent and current Ultimo residents know how important it is for the long-term prosperity of the area.”
The history of the 5,322sqm site is interesting. It was originally owned by the Harris family who were the dominant landowners in the area for more than a century. Bushells Tea purchased the site in 1938 and built a four-storey warehouse to store its produce.
In 1964 the newly founded Totalizator Agency Board (TAB) acquired the property as its headquarters and nerve centre for its betting business. In 2004 TAB was taken over by the Victorian-based wagering and media company Tabcorp, which 10 years later sold the property to Auswin TWT.