Alterations to planning regulations at Barangaroo have seen Aqualand re-submit an entirely different proposal for their Central Barangaroo development, with high-rise towers scrapped in favour of a number of buildings no larger than 10 storeys.

Masterplanned by SJB, the Central Barangaroo precinct sits directly behind the site of the future public park on the harbour foreshore. In close proximity to the soon-to-open Barangaroo Metro, the development comprises seven new buildings, six of which sit between seven and eight storeys. It is anticipated the plans will be put on public display later this month.

Height limits at Barangaroo have been the scene of intense debate since the project's planning stages. 2022 saw former NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet formally announce a reduction in height limits, with Aqualand frustrated by the lack of communication.

Nevertheless, the project has moved forward this week, with half of the site dedicated to ‘extraordinary’ public spaces, including shops, offices, apartments, a large park and a luxury hotel at the southern end of the site. Commercial floorspace has been reduced by 30 percent, while approximately 140 apartments have been added throughout.

“Projects like these get a lot of scrutiny that comes with the territory, but we’re ready to get on with it and deliver something that honours the promise of this spectacular location,” says Aqualand Project Director, Tim Robertson.

“Once the Metro opens later this year we expect that many people will ask what the holdup has been with Central Barangaroo. Thankfully we’ve had really clear direction from the new government and we’re ready to get on with delivering a fantastic lifestyle precinct for Sydney.”

SJB Director Adam Haddow was quoted in August 2023 saying that his practice will create a truly vibrant public precinct.

“Aqualand genuinely want a project the community will love,” he says.

“Expect to see a cross between Crown Street, Surry Hills and the Opera Bar. Somewhere Sydneysiders really want to be.”

Aqualand is hoping to gain approval of the new precinct and start work before the end of the year, and construction is expected to be completed in 2029.