HOW can a high-rise residential tower located in the heart of SYDNEY’s CBD with the consortium having to pay $369 million to the government for the air rights to develop the 39-storey build-to-rent tower

… and offering signature amenities including a restaurant and bar, lap pool, a fitness centre, workspaces, a laundry, a cinema and a roof-top entertaining area … in the nascent accommodation sector of Build-to-Rent potentially address housing affordability issues in Sydney?

No doubt a suitable location in the CBD with like development!

FOR Sydneysiders the focus from this state guvmint appears to be to make us all life-long tenants whether in Build-to-Rent, boarding houses, co-living, retirement villages … sell up, move out, downsize … get outa the way for ‘the population growth’

… it’s as if the Opal Tower and Mascot Towers cracking and sinking, the 85 per cent defective apartments on completion haven’t happened

Perhaps Oxford Properties … unlike so many developments before them … will maintain their architects Bates Smart, and develop a project to World Standards?

Build-to-rent to rise above Pitt Street Metro station

Su-Lin Tan

Su-Lin Tan


Sep 17, 2019

Oxford Properties will lead the commercial development above Sydney’s new Pitt Street Metro Station with the city’s first build-to-rent project in the CBD, one of most significant initiatives yet in the nascent accommodation sector.

Oxford, the real estate arm of Canadian pension fund giant OMERS, as well as Grocon and CPB Contractors, form the winning consortium that will take on the project, the NSW government confirmed on Tuesday.

Artist impression of the North Building for Pitt Street Metro being developed by Oxford Properties and CPB Contractors in a consortium assembled by Grocon.  Supplied

The consortium will pay $369 million to the government for the air rights to develop the 39-storey build-to-rent tower and a second 39-storey commercial tower above the station on the corner of Pitt and Park Streets.

The purpose-built housing, to be designed by architects Bates Smart, will offer 230 apartments for long-term rental with the consortium as an institutional landlord.

The milestone build-to-rent tower will, like many other such projects globally, offer signature amenities including a restaurant and bar, lap pool, a fitness centre, workspaces, a laundry, a cinema and a roof-top entertaining area.

Artist impression of the South Building for Pitt Street Metro. Supplied

Oxford is already a big player in the sector, also known as multifamily, in the UK and the US.  It manages more than 12,000 rental apartments globally and is developing more projects in London, New York, Toronto, Boston and Washington DC.

An expanding build-to-rent sector could potentially address housing affordability issues in Sydney and elsewhere, easing the path for renters in a fragmented mum-and-dad landlord system.

The project’s second tower is a premium 47,480sq m office building with a 1320sq m retail plaza to be designed by architects Foster+Partners and Cox Architecture.

The tower will have smart building and sustainability features taking design inspirations from the Bloomberg Building in London and Hearst Tower in New York.

Together, the two towers will offer 65,000sq m of new space creating a new activated urban precinct around the station.

“We are delighted to be partnering with Sydney Metro and CPB Contractors to create a landmark new project that will add to the vibrancy of Sydney’s CBD, create new jobs and provide superb new rental options for Sydneysiders,” Oxford Properties Director of Development Australia Ian Lyon said.

“Oxford has shaped skylines across some of the world’s greatest cities and we will bring all of our global expertise in successfully delivering world-class office and multifamily projects to the Pitt Street development.”

This is the first Australian development project with Oxford at the helm.

A milestone for Sydney – the future build-to-rent project at Pitt Street Metro station.  Supplied

The group entered the Australian market previously through other channels including the $4.5 billion purchase of the Investa Office Fund last December and development collaboration with Grocon at Barangaroo Central, now taken over by Sydney developer Aqualand. 

“Our plans for Pitt Street are in line with Oxford’s strategy to invest in high-quality assets in high-growth global gateway cities,” Oxford Properties head of Asia Pacific David Matheson said.

“The development also plays to two of our highest-conviction global investment themes, increasing our exposure to the Asia Pacific region and growing our multifamily portfolio.

The project joins Oxford’s extensive development pipeline which includes the new Google building at St John’s Terminal in Manhattan and Union Park in Toronto.

The consortium will begin work at Pitt Street in 2021 with the build-to-rent tower scheduled to complete in 2023, and the office tower to be finished in 2024.


Grocon and Oxford Properties win Pitt Street metro development

Su-Lin Tan reports on housing, commercial real estate and property finance. She also covers China and Asian business, trade and politics. Connect with Su-Lin on Twitter. Email Su-Lin at