Microsoft leases North Sydney’s tallest office as its Australian HQ

Global software giant Microsoft will relocate its Australian headquarters to what is set to be North Sydney’s tallest building.

Microsoft will consolidate staff based in metropolitan Sydney, as well as its current headquarters in North Ryde, to Winten Property Group’s $1.2 billion 1 Denison skyscraper.

Winten paid $80 million for the 1 Denison Street site in 2016.

The property was formerly the North Sydney New World shopping centre, and later, an Officeworks outlet.

Artist’s impression of North Sydney’s 1 Denison office

Winten recently started construction of the landmark 39-storey, 61,600 square metre replacement office.

Following the Microsoft deal, the building is now 55 per cent occupied after Nine Entertainment pre-committed to 17,000 sqm. SAP, a software group, has also signed on, for 6000 sqm.

This development was last January the subject of a high-profile dispute involving the site owner and Melbourne-based builder, Grocon, which was settled out of court.

Winten has since handed Multiplex the construction contract. Multiplex expects to complete the building by the end of 2020.

Artist’s impression of the 39-storey, 61,600 sqm 1 Denison commercial building

Microsoft will take occupancy in mid-2021, a joint statement said.

Founded in Seattle by Bill Gates in 1975, the diversified computing company has leased seven floors of 1 Denison – from level 25 to 31 inclusive: an area of 10,655 sqm.

Its floor plates will range from 1449 sqm to 1563 sqm.

The lease term is 10 years.

Microsoft Australia managing director Steven Worrall said 1 Denison gives the company “the opportunity to create an environment in the heart of North Sydney’s CBD that inspires our people, is closer to our customers and partners, and showcases the best of Microsoft’s technology and services”.

“Having the flexibility to design and build our own space ensures we can bring our vision of a modern world of work to life,” Mr Worrall said. “It will be a workplace that energises our employees and empowers them to do their best work, while reflecting the culture and spirit of innovation inherent in the Microsoft brand”.

“For our Sydney based teams, 1 Denison will feature inspirational design and productivity solutions that facilitate the sharing of creative ideas and experiences for improved collaboration. The investment reflects Microsoft’s continued commitment to its employees, customers and partners in Australia.”

Located between the new Victoria Cross and North Sydney stations, and with floor-plates of up to 2518 sqm, the office aims to have a 5-star Green Star rating from the Green Building Council of Australia as well as 5 Star NAVERS rating and Silver WELLS rating.

Many parts of the skyscraper will capture Sydney Harbour views.

“It is pleasing to see Microsoft recognise the significant benefits associated with moving into 1 Denison, which will be North Sydney’s largest premium grade commercial building,” Winten Property Group development director, Stuart Vaughan, said.

“The building’s world-class public realm featuring an eclectic mix of eateries, restaurants, bars and cafes, will become a new destination of choice for tenants, local business owners and the North Sydney neighbourhood”.

Of the office leasing campaign, Mr Vaughan said “we are receiving strong enquiry from media, pharmaceutical and technology related businesses who are not traditionally working in the North Sydney area, as well as Sydney CBD based businesses”.

“North Sydney is fast becoming a destination of choice for companies seeking quick access to the city and high-quality amenity without the price tag. More businesses are investing in North Sydney and bringing amenity and hotels to the area including 88 Walker Street and Vibe Hotel”.

Mark Lacey, Regional Director at CBRE acted for Winten and Simon Crouch, Head of Tenant Advisory at Colliers International represented Microsoft in the lease transaction.

Winten paid $80 million for the 1 Denison Street site in 2016. The property was formerly the North Sydney New World shopping centre, and later, an Officeworks outlet.

Elsewhere in Sydney, Microsoft will continue to lease a ‘technology centre’ office space at 1 Martin, which it opened earlier this year.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and journalist, Marc is the publisher of

Marc Pallisco