An artist’s impression of the International Convention Centre.

29 August 2013 — Lend Lease’s Darling Harbour redevelopment has made progress, with the NSW Government giving planning approval for the project’s convention, exhibition and entertainment facilities.

In conjunction with Infrastructure NSW and the state government, Lend Lease and the Darling Harbour Live consortium are redeveloping a 20 hectare area of Darling Harbour.

Darling Harbour Live comprises Lend Lease, Capella Capital, AEG Ogden and Spotless. Lend Lease’s infrastructure development business Capella Capital is the public–private partnership development manager and financial advisor. Lend Lease’s project management and construction business will design and construct the facilities while AEG Ogden will be the operator of the facilities. Spotless will be responsible for delivering facility management services.

“We are thrilled to have received planning approval for the new facilities and improvements to the public realm,” said Darling Harbour Live chief executive Malcolm Macintyre. “The state government’s vision to revitalise 20 hectares of Darling Harbour is a landmark project for Sydney that will generate significant ongoing economic and tourism benefits for the city and State.

“Since we were selected as the preferred proponent last December, we have engaged regularly with stakeholders and the community and there is very strong support for the project. We recently refined some of our designs in response to public consultation as it’s very important we get this project right for Sydney.

“We have a great architectural design team and are now set to deliver memorable buildings, great public spaces and improved pedestrian connections that will really make this precinct one of the world’s best places to live, learn, meet and be entertained.”

The Australian Institute of Architects has criticised the decision to redevelop Darling Harbour through a single contract to Lend Lease, saying it betrayed the public interest, and also criticised the decision to demolish and rebuild the Sydney Exhibition Centre, which was awarded the prestigious Sulman Medal in 1989.

“Buildings aren’t throw-away things,” national president Paul Berkemeier told The Fifth Estate in May.

Read our article Paul Berkemeier: Darling Harbour plan betrays public interest