The search for a Barangaroo Central designer is a step closer, with the Barangaroo Delivery Authority (BDA) announcing 16 respondents have lodged expressions of interest to develop the 5.2-hectare site.

Back in April, Architecture and Design reported that the NSW government was seeking investment partners and designers for the Barangaroo Central site, opening registrations of interest for the community and civic precinct development.

The expression of interest process was then initiated by NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell “to bring forward the best and most innovative ideas from around the world”.

The BDA has now announced that it has received 16 respondents to the call for developers, nine of which are interested in developing one or more of the three parcels into which the development has been broken down.

Another 19 submissions came from organisations looking to make Central Barangaroo their new home. This came in response to the BDA’s call for submissions from those interested in making Central Barangaroo their new address, financing development, or purchasing completed projects. They offered 99 year lease incentives for those submitting. 

Above: A new urban theatre and passage linking Barangaroo to Observatory Hill, to be called the Sydney Steps, will also be a part of Barangaroo Central.

The designs for the site, which sits between Barangaroo South and Headland Park, will have met modifications to last year’s release of the masterplan.

The modifications included the doubling of the floor area of buildings to 120,000sqm – extra floor space the government hopes will yield a further $150 million to the return on the site, in line with its desire to build the community precinct at no cost to the state.

According to Premier O’Farrell, this current plan, which reserves three hectares of waterfront land for the active public and cultural space, will fulfil the government’s commitment to deliver more than 50 per cent of public space at Central Barangaroo.

Above: Key features for the three hectare public and cultural space include a new $27 million, 300 metre long pedestrian promenade giving the public access to the water’s edge.

However, the changes have not been well-received by the industry, with the Australian Institute of Architects claiming public space was being “moved around to suit private interests”, primarily James Packer’s hotel resort that will be built on a spot previously meant for a public park.

The BDA will now finalise a shortlist by late August, after which formal development bids will be made.

Stage one of Barangaroo Central’s public domain works is expected to be completed in 2015, with all works finished by 2021.