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Call for First Nations operator to bring Sydney’s newest public plaza to life

The City of Sydney has been working closely with Lendlease on the broader community infrastructure plans for the precinct since 2016

The City of Sydney is calling for an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander operator to manage a public plaza, multi-purpose space for a cultural display and café or retail area, at what will be Sydney’s tallest office tower – 180 George Street, near Circular Quay.

With the first stage works of Lendlease’s 55-storey Salesforce Tower near completion, the City is progressing new community infrastructure that will complement the site’s planned business innovation space, retail laneways, public art and new hospitality venue.

The public plaza features a stunning canopy artwork and a multipurpose building designed by Aboriginal artist Daniel Boyd and acclaimed architect Sir David Adjaye.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said it was an exciting opportunity to be part of Sydney’s newest public plaza, right in the heart of the city.

“Ensuring city precincts are activated and accessible is vital to our pandemic recovery,” the Lord Mayor said.

“During the lockdowns, construction projects continued apace. Now it’s our job to make sure these new precincts buzz so the city is not only a great place to work, but also to visit and linger, to catch up with friends and eat, drink and shop.

The public plaza features a stunning canopy artwork and a multipurpose building designed by Aboriginal artist Daniel Boyd and acclaimed architect Sir David Adjaye

The City of Sydney negotiated the provision of these public spaces as part of Lendlease’s development agreement for the site. They will be transferred to the City of Sydney’s ownership as a public asset when the development is complete.

The City of Sydney has been working closely with Lendlease on the broader community infrastructure plans for the precinct since 2016, and in late 2019 commenced an expression of interest process for an operator to lease the site’s affordable business innovation space. Council approved the lease of the space to an operator in June 2021.

The innovation space will occupy the first three office floors of Salesforce Tower and will be a hub for climate tech startups and scaleups. Named Greenhouse by Investible, the cost-effective office space will enable emerging companies to prosper and expand into global markets.

“Crucial to the success of the development at 180 George Street will be the people who run the ground level space, curate the multi-purpose area and activate the new public plaza. This precinct will be one of the most desirable locations for businesses in Australia and we’re excited to see it come to life,” the Lord Mayor said.

“The possible use of these spaces is near endless. We’re calling for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander businesses and operators who can deliver experiences that will benefit both locals and visitors.”

The innovation space will occupy the first three office floors of Salesforce Tower and will be a hub for climate tech startups and scaleups

The City of Sydney will offer a rental subsidy for the lease of the new café and multi-purpose space.

Applications from Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander-owned or led businesses must contain details of the proposed use of the property and alignment to the City of Sydney’s reconciliation action plan; demonstrable experience and capacity to implement the proposed use, ensuring the building and plaza is a small precinct of activity for workers, residents and visitors; details of proposed programming and activities that build connection and community and demonstrate successful profit making and a commitment to social inclusion practices, including policy or programming, and measurable indicators
sustainability-focused practices like waste, water and energy use.

Not-for-profit and for-profit entities are welcome to apply.

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