Mirvac’s City Tatts Sticking Points: No. 5 – Building on the City Tatts Site

Mirvac are very experienced builders with a long track record of building all types of projects.

But even for them, City Tattersalls Club was shaping up as a difficult build.

There are a lot of problems when you come to build on the City Tatts site.

First and foremost is the location itself. The City Tatts building is situated on a narrow one-way street, just a few metres from a junction where traffic can only turn left. This causes numerous access problems. Every time a truck, van, crane or anything would enter or leave the site it was going to be a problem. Just compare City Tatts to the new ANZ building down the street. ANZ had a site that went from Pitt Street right through to Castlereagh Street which was a huge advantage to them during the build. The City Tatts location also means no parking spaces for any apartments. As an added complication we even heard that the foundations required for the proposed tower would be getting close to the Martin Place train tunnel.

The city centre location also means ongoing issues with the owners of adjoining properties. These owners have no reason to help City Tatts, especially if they are also trying to build apartments on their own sites.

Building at City Tatts also means dealing with heritage issues. There are heritage restrictions on the facade and various parts of the Club such as the Lower Bar. These are not a huge problem but they are an added complication – which other sites don’t have.

The design itself just added to the complexity. Guilfoyle’s desire for a hotel significantly increased the issues Mirvac had to consider.

Finally, building on this site meant dealing with a registered club, which meant that regardless of how much work Mirvac put into it members could still reject it. Even a member vote in favour was no guarantee that it would proceed smoothly. The longer they were involved with City Tatts the more Mirvac worried that some kind of court challenge could derail the project, or at the very least delay it.

 

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