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    Bidding begins for Sydney’s tallest tower

    Geraldine Chua

    Developers Leighton Properties, Walker corporation, Dyldam and Centurion Custodians have been shortlisted to build what could be Sydney’s tallest building in New South Wales’ (NSW) Parramatta.

    The 90-storey Aspire Tower designed by Grimshaw Architects, who was chosen by the Parramatta Council, twists upwards into the air to maximise the capture of sun, breeze and views for residents. Standing 366 metres tall, it features hotel, residential and retail facilities, as well as the tallest publicly-accessible viewing platform and experience centre in the southern hemisphere.

    According to The Australian, the four bidders are allowed to submit their own designs, with some expected to propose a shorter building than detailed in Grimshaw’s designs in light of current aviation regulations that restrict tower heights to below 300 metres.

    However, Council could favour designs that soar higher, particularly after it lobbied NSW and Federal Governments to create a ‘bubble’ over the Parramatta CBD so that slimmer buildings up to 500 metres tall can be constructed without regard to flight paths.

    “We are a city, we're not a country town. We're building Australia's next great city," Lord Mayor Scott Lloyd said. "We want an exclusion, a no-fly zone over the top of the city. When we do change these heights, it will definitely put Parramatta on the map.

    Aspire has previously faced height limitation intervention by aviation authorities who sought to reduce the tower’s height by up to 30 storeys. Legislation under the Airports (Protection of Airspace) regulations presently restricts building heights to about 243 metres, so as to assist pilots flying by sight.

    The plans from the four bidders are due in April, with the winning proposal to be announced in the middle of the year.

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