13 May 2010: Investa’s Ark building officially opened today, adding a landmark sustainable building to North Sydney’s skyline.

North Sydney mayor, Genia McCaffery, unveiled two pieces of significant public art at the building’s official opening – a painting on the foyer ceiling by Aboriginal artist Freddie Timms and a sculpture sited directly on street level by Hany Armanious and Mary Teague.

The Ark development, with an estimated end value of AU$240 million, began on the site of the old North Sydney Telephone Exchange in 2006, and was designed by Rice Daubney Architects.

The building has been awarded a 6 Star Green Star design rating from the Green Building Council of Australia (Office Design v2 Certified Rating) representing “World Leadership” in environmentally sustainable design.

It has also been designed to achieve a 5 Star NABERS Energy rating.

Prior to practical completion 85 per cent of the building was leased, with both Coca-Cola Amatil and Vodafone Hutchison Australia choosing it for their Australian headquarters.

The two companies have pre-committed to lease approximately 11,000 square metres each, for 10 years with further option periods, accounting for approximately 22,000 sq m. AWE Ltd is also leasing space.

Tina Tang, Investa’s group general manager, developments, said the fact that Ark was opening 85 per cent leased is an exceptional result and even more remarkable given the market conditions over the last 18 months.

“Interest in Ark demonstrates that tenants appreciate the inherent value to their business of having larger floor plates, daylight penetration, energy efficient, well-built and well-serviced space,” Ms Tang said.

Ark will add approximately 28,500 sq m of net lettable A-grade office space over 21 levels to the North Sydney precinct, which is currently sitting around 850,000 sq m.

According to Ms Tang, the buoyancy of the North Sydney market mirrors Sydney’s CBD.

“High quality, efficient, A-Grade office space is clearly in demand and continuing to trend up. It’s an important market for us, and Ark will be a great asset to the area.”

Ms Tang said the building sets a new benchmark in sustainable development. She commended builders on the project, Thiess, for an outstanding job in delivering the design intent envisioned by Investa and the architects, Rice Daubney.

“The attention to detail in this design makes for a great working space, with outdoor areas and some highly original public art at street level to create a strong connection to the history of the area”, said Ms Tang.

Sustainability features

  • tri-generation power supply
  • grey-water recycling system
  • efficient lighting and controls
  • natural light from three sides (side services core)
  • parking and charging bays for electric and hybrid pool cars
  • cycling facilities (including bike racks, lockers and showers)
  • a 3D building information model (BIM) which combines all of the design as-built information about the architecture, services and fit outs in the building
  • part of Investa’s EcoSpace initiative that brings together a range of inclusions that lift a tenancy’s environmental and commercial performance

lblundell@thefifthestate.com.au