The largest and most prestigious residential development in Ultimo’s history is set to focus a spotlight on the quiet former industrial suburb, which is just a stroll from the bright lights and big city attractions of Darling Harbour, Chinatown and Barangaroo.
New Life/Ultimo is a $300-Million ‘game-changer’ from Auswin TWT that will hasten the gentrification of this fringe CBD suburb. Residents of New Life/Ultimo will have the best of both worlds – overlooking the non-stop activities of Sydney’s entertainment heart yet not having to live amidst the noise and hustle-and-bustle.
For parents the location is ideal, with several nurseries licensed to care for babies and infants in the immediate area. For older students, Ultimo Public School, the International Grammar School, University of Technology, TAFE and Sydney University are within walking distance.
New Life/Ultimo is strategically located on an elevated 5,322sqm site at 495 Harris Street, opposite the Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre and next to the Ultimo Community Centre, which contains a library, sports hall, craft room and a childcare facility. Five minutes walk away the 20-ha Darling Harbour is being transformed through new convention, exhibition and entertainment venues, a five-star hotel, an urban village and retail and commercial facilities.
“Ultimo is well connected to light rail and bus services, and locations like this where you can do without a car, or at least leave your car at home during the working week, are becoming rarer,” said Ben Stewart of CBRE.
Simon Platt of Kinsale Property Group is another realtor excited by the Auswin TWT development.
“Ultimo is on the doorstep of the CBD and has all the attributes of being a property ‘hot spot’,” Mr Platt said. “This development will further add to Ultimo’s appeal, and the appreciation in property values will become even more pronounced when Darling Harbour completes.”
The eye-pleasing, 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.
CBD corridor views start from level one for the east-facing apartments, and water views ‘splash in’ from level four.
Architectus’ competition-winning design includes 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.
The architecture is a blend of traditional forms and modern detail, comprising contemporary elements and traditional craftsmanship. The lower levels of the building are brick to provide a solid look and feel in keeping with the former warehouses that once dotted Harris Street. By contrast, the upper levels seem to ‘float’ above the base – its linear form defined by metallic blade walls, silver-grey aluminium window frames and louvres, expanses of glass and recessed balconies.
New Life/Ultimo will also have ground floor retail/commercial space and two basement levels for vehicles and bicycles, bringing the Gross Floor Area to around 20,000sqm.
“As its name implies, our development will help breathe new life into Ultimo on what is one of the suburb’s most important sites,” said the General Manager of Auswin TWT, Stephen Fitzpatrick.
“We are providing a variety of accommodation to cater for a range of occupants, from singles to families, including wide-fronted apartments and ‘through’ apartments with dual aspects. The terrace-style apartments along Bulwara Road and the new lane provide a visual and emotional ‘connection’ to the suburbs’ existing terraces,” Mr Fitzpatrick said.
Generous-sized kitchens overflow with Miele appliances, expansive stone benches, water filters, large format floor tiles, a pantry, and soft-closing drawers and cupboards.
Each master ensuite has the feel of a five-star hotel with tiled floors and walls, a sumptuous sunken bath, ceramic wash basins with stone benchtops, a luxuriant shower with a frameless glass screen, a private toilet, and modern appointments.
Among the range of standard inclusions at New Life/Ultimo is an intercom entry, a proximity card, feature lighting and wiring for phone, fax and Foxtel. Laundries and bathrooms feature individually-controlled fans and sensors.
Internal sizes, and pricing, at New Life/Ultimo are:
- 1-bedroom (45-65sqm) from $650,000 to $950,000
- 2-bedrooms (75-90sqm) from $1,2M to $1.5M, and
- 3-bedrooms (95-140sqm) $1.5M to $2.5M
Landscaping will play a major role in the amenity of residents at New Life/Ultimo whilst preserving the privacy of existing neighbours. A series of private retreats is planned, shielded by planting mature trees and flowering shrubs in layered garden beds.
One initiative will be a rooftop community garden for the cultivation of vegetables, herbs and flowers. The plots will initially be established by the landscape architectural firm, Taylor Brammer.
“Having a garden to potter in is important to some people, and it offers a chance for residents to interact, get some exercise and sunshine, improve their diet through fresh organic food, and save money,” said Matthew Taylor.
“Our concept of providing ‘new life’ to Ultimo is realised through the elements of nature seamlessly integrated with the built form, bringing a new meaning to sustainability in an established urban context. At the core of our plan is a bamboo garden that allows sunlight to penetrate, filtering and adding to the layering of the plants throughout the sitting and relaxing areas,” Mr Taylor said.
The history of the Harris Street 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.
A New Life/Ultimo display centre is being created on site and will open to the general public from June 4. Further information is available through 1300 812 208 or www.newlifeultimo.com.au