Launch of nbh lifestyle centre at Lachlan's Line. lead architect Jason Fraser, Bates Smart, addresses audience

Greenland, China’s biggest development company, owned by the Chinese government, has grown rapidly in Australia since announcing it would build Sydney’s tallest apartment building, the Greenland Centre in Bathurst Street in the CBD.

In 2013 it had just two staff. Today it has 68 people and they’re managing a massive $3.6 billion of development value in the pipeline.

Last Thursday the company unveiled a lifestyle centre to promote its latest project, nbh (for neighbourhood), comprising around 900 apartments at Lachlan’s Line, the UrbanGrowth NSW masterplanned site adjacent to the Macquarie Park railway station and 250 metres from North Ryde Station.

The project is expected to be the first out of the ground in the precinct and to become a retail and community centre for the precinct. It will have 6000 square metres of retail space and a community centre, possibly for childcare, of 2500 sq m.


According to a company spokesman there’s much more on the way. Apartment projects on the way include Leichhardt Green, Omnia at Potts Point and Lucent, where sales are being settled. Next in line will be the Ashmore Industrial Estate at inner city Erskineville slated for between 1400 and 1600 apartments.

Purchase of the land from Goodman is scheduled to be completed next year, with Greenland buying a majority stake in GH properties, part of the Hong Kong-based Golden Horse Holdings, which initiated purchase of the 6.9 hectare site from Goodman Group.

But don’t expect that sheer size and capacity of a development company is sufficient to drive higher sustainability outcomes. At the launch of the lifestyle centre at nbh the models of the six residential towers ranging in height from three to 17 storeys displayed ample free roof spaces but there was nary a solar panel in sight.

The closest the pitch to media and stakeholders came to mention of sustainability was that the style and quality of finishes were selected to last long term. So no fashion statements that would soon be superseded.

Architect Jason Fraser from Bates Smart told The Fifth Estate the project would meet BASIX environmental minimum standards.

A company spokesman said there was more potential for sustainability outcomes at Erskineville because the demographic there was more likely to call for this.

“Like all developers, you need to make sure that the development meets the market in the area we are talking about. So that’s why I have a view that there is better than even chance that we will respond to the local market.

“In the same way at Lachlan’s Line responds to the Millennial market.”

A design competition for the site would be launched in about October or November.

Meanwhile the market is still waiting to see what comes of the Greenland Centre at Bathurst Street in the CBD.

Greenland told media in May that Builder Brookfield Multiplex had pulled out of an agreement to build the tower. Industry sources said Brookfield was concerned about timeframes and the potential for stiff fines for time overruns.

Greenland said there was no imminent announcement on a replacement builder but that demolition of existing structures was proceeding.

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  1. I believe I have just experienced the reverse Rip Van Winkle and woke up twenty years in the past. Environmental minimum standards sounds like a high rise shanty in the making. I agree it is pathetic and this development should be resisted at every level. Not sure what market these guys are pandering to.

    1. To be fair most developers outside the CBD, we hear, will be exactly the same and only adhere to minimum standards. Greenland is not alone in confining its aims to perceived consumer demands. But consumers buy an apartment or house maybe once or twice in their lifetime, if they’re lucky, so it’s not fair to expect they are fully informed on sustainability and understand the impact the R values will have on their future energy bills or what the chain of custody is for the building materials. Our governments and regulators set the standards. We need to stop blaming others, look to ourselves, agitate government to demand higher minimum standards.

  2. What an irony – “responds to the Millennial market” and yet bears no future thinking about the world in which these long-lasting units will live within. Where is the innovative water and energy generation/use, smart waste reuse and other innovations that will help lower costly inputs and harmful outputs. Shame – those Millennials will be cursing the Xers from the “comforts” of an obsolete home…

  3. Pathetic effort by the developer highlights why mandatory requirements by local and state government are needed.

  4. What a shame there seems to be no sustainability ambitions – these apartments would be great investment opportunities, but without green attributes or Green Stars this is just not a medium- or long-term sustainable investment proposition. And when “architect Jason Fraser from Bates Smart told The Fifth Estate the project would meet BASIX environmental minimum standards”, I don’t think meeting minimum legal requirements counts as ‘sustainability in design’.