Microsoft leases North Sydney’s tallest office as Australian HQ

The lower levels of North Sydney’s proposed 1 Denison.

Microsoft will relocate its Australian headquarters to what is set to be North Sydney’s tallest building – Winten Property Group’s $1.2 billion 1 Denison.

The global software group will consolidate offices in metropolitan Sydney, and relocate its headquarters from North Ryde.

Artist’s impression of the 39-storey 1 Denison.

The landlord paid $80 million for the 1 Denison Street site making way for the skyscraper three years ago.

It was formerly an Officeworks outlet and for years before that, shopping centre, North Sydney New World.

Construction of the landmark 39-storey, 61,600 square metre replacement office recently began.

Following the Microsoft pre-commitment, the building is 55 per cent occupied; Nine Entertainment will rent 17,000 sqm, while another software group, SAP, has signed on for 6000 sqm.

The project was last January the subject of a high-profile dispute involving Melbourne-based builder, Grocon which was settled out of court (Winten later handed Multiplex the contract).

Construction is set to be complete by the end of next year.

Microsoft will move in by mid-2021, a joint statement said.

Founded in 1975 at Seattle by Bill Gates, the diversified technology company has leased seven floors of 1 Denison – 25 to 31 inclusive: a total 10,655 sqm.

Floor plates range from 1449-1563 sqm.

The initial lease term is 10 years (story continues below).

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 Metro stations, and with some supersized (2518 sqm) floor, the office aims to have a 5-star Green Star rating as well as 5 Star NABERS rating and Silver WELLS rating.

Occupants will also enjoy 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 added “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 St and Vibe Hotel”.

Mark Lacey, Regional Director at CBRE acted for Winten while Simon Crouch, Head of Tenant Advisory with Colliers International, represented Microsoft, which will continue to lease a technology centre at the city’s 1 Martin Place, which opened earlier this year.

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Marc Pallisco

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