Lendlease snares $3b Circular Quay project

The country’s first Waldorf Astoria (centre) would rise 28 levels beside a 59 storey apartment building.

Lendlease will partner with Mitsubishi Estate to deliver the $3 billion One Circular Quay project, including Australia’s first Waldorf Astoria hotel.

As part of the agreement, the partners will pay AW Holdings $800 million for the c4000 square metre site making way for the project, 1 Alfred Street, between Pitt and George.

Another $50m is due if development conditions are met.

Mitsubishi’s stake in One Circular Quay – it presently holds 19.9 per cent – will increase to two thirds.

Lendlease would control the balance.

Long history

One Circular Quay was conceived in its current form – a 59 level apartment building and 28 floor hotel – by Wanda Group in 2015.

Led by Dalian Wanda, that developer was also responsible for amalgamating the holding and razing the old structures (including the 27 storey Gold Fields House – one of Sydney’s tallest offices when it was completed in 1966).

It was that builder too which in 2017 launched a high-profile sales campaign for the dwellings, with penthouses asking $60-$100m (story continues below).

Control of the project then transferred to Yuhu Group, chaired by Huang Xiangmo, who was later suspected of being connected to the Chinese Communist Party and barred from entering Australia.

One Circular Quay was then majority seized by AW, connected to Evergrande Group, led by China’s second wealthiest person, Xu Jiayin.

Building began last year – earthworks and part of a basement car park.

In April, Hilton chose the hotel, with 179 rooms and 41 suites, for the country’s maiden Waldorf Astoria.

Lendlease and Mitsubishi expect to deliver the project by late 2026.

The pair are behind other developments including Sydney Place, next door to One Circular Quay, and in Victoria, at Docklands’ Melbourne Quarter.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of realestatesource.com.au.