Property developer Theo Onisforou has lodged plans for a stage two development application for an inner-city Sydney site, following a design competition and careful reflection on the current climate.
The project, located at 290-294 Botany Road, Alexandria already has stage one development approval but will now move forward with a new concept designed by Sydney-based Chenchow Little Architects.
As tenants begin to grapple with workplace efficiencies and the prospect of being forced to increase floorplates to accommodate a socially-distanced workforce, developers are now being tasked with providing intuitive and socially responsible solutions.
The veteran developer and former financial adviser to the late billionaire Kerry Packer, is now looking to use his commercial project as an example of future-proofed post-pandemic design.
“I believe that older, densely configured, high-rise buildings across Sydney are going to have problems moving forward,” Onisforou told The Urban Developer.
“This crisis is presenting an opportunity not a problem and we can now design buildings with wellness and good health at the core.”
The proposed A-grade office building will span 10,000sq m and features floor plates of 1,750sq m, allowing for campus-stye users hygiene-centric amenities such as openable windows and automatic doors throughout.
The project will also feature four voice-activated high-speed lifts in order to reduce waiting time, while also giving health-conscious users an option to use decorative stairways—taking advantage of the building's low-rise format.
“We are also contemplating a powder room at reception that will serve as a disinfectant room to allow workers and visitors on arrival to clean-up before entering the lifts and the inner sanctum of the building.”
Onisforou, a seasoned cattle farmer, also pointed to the building's unique rectangular shape, designed to enhance and better capture its north-facing aspect, and in turn provide tenants with ample natural sunlight.
“I'm amazed how little people understand the benefits of the sun. As a cattle breeder and grazier it's important to understand the benefits of north-facing aspects,” Onisforou said.
“North-facing paddocks provide more heat to your cattle and better pasture compared to south-facing which can leave the herd miserable.”
The project will also feature large ground floor courtyard to provide office-workers with a functional outdoor meeting space.
Once a mainly industrial suburb, Alexandria has recently exploded into a residential suburb, bolstered by the new $13 billion Green Square township nearby.
Onisforou said developers were now starting to take notice of the burgeoning suburb which still has a shortfall of office and commercial options.
“I could have gone down a residential path but I was excited to opt for a commercial scheme because of the site's positioning to the under-construction Waterloo railway line,” Onisforou said.
“People have become incredible cost-conscious in the current climate and I think there will be a lot of business owners out there looking at projects on the fringe of the CBD which are due to be serviced by new infrastructure.”
The complex will have 82 car spaces but sits at the intersection of two railway lines, just 100 metres from Green Square Station and minutes from the planned Waterloo Metro station.
The project is due to launch to market in July of this year and pending approval the developer is looking to start demolition in September and commence construction in early 2021.