Plans for a $2 billion integrated metro and commercial tower development at Sydney’s Martin Place have progressed to the final stage of the Unsolicited Proposals process and will now be handed to the NSW cabinet for assessment. 

The proposal will also be put to the Department of Planning and Environment by its developer, Macquarie Group as a series of development applications in the coming months, allowing the public to have its say on the state significant development.

News Corp is reporting that Johnson Pilton Walker (JPW) and Grimshaw architects are leading the design of the project, which will include a new metro station and underground mall as well as two new above-ground commercial towers on Castlereagh Street.

The new towers will be divided by Macquarie Group’s existing offices at 50 Martin Place, also designed by JPW architects, and be linked by an underground public concourse that provides pedestrians with an all-weather walkway from Martin Place to Hunter Street.

The two new tower developments at 12 Castlereagh (top) and 51 Martin Place (Below)

Macquarie Group says the integrated delivery of the underground and over-station elements will provide a better outcome for the thriving Martin Place precinct.

“Integrating the station and over-station design and delivery allows for better use of space and natural light, and allows for features that improve convenience for station users,” says a statement from the company.

“It would also enable us to offer an intuitive design that would offer customers ease of navigation throughout the station precinct."

Top: artist's impression of all-weather concourse
Above: artist's impression of platform level and access to natural light

Macquarie also says its proposal has been strongly influenced by the City of Sydney’s 2030 plan, and by transport hubs from around the world including Canary Wharf in London and the World Trade Center in New York. 

“We looked at the landmark transportation hubs around the world, which are thoughtfully-designed spaces that enable people to seamlessly transition from commute, to work, to leisure,” it says.  

"We believe our proposal delivers on these expectations and offers a substantial contribution to protecting Martin Place’s heritage and enhancing the revitalisation currently taking place to ensure it remains relevant to generations to come."

According to the rules of the Unsolicited Proposal process, stage three will involve the finalisation of all outstanding issues of the project between Macquarie and the government, with a view to entering into a binding agreement should the government accept the final offer.

Macquarie’s submission will need to meet a number of criteria set up to guide the approval of Unsolicited Proposals including uniqueness, value for money, government impact, return on investment, capability and capacity, affordability and risk allocation.