Office to apartment conversions on rise

The conversion of office towers into residential property is gaining momentum for developers and investors, while also providing some relief for office landlords facing rising leasing vacancy levels.

The conversion of office towers into residential property is gaining momentum for developers and investors, while also providing some relief for office landlords facing rising leasing vacancy levels.

The Samsung property at 61 Lavender Street on the lower north shore has come on the market and is expected to attract local and international buyer interest, with a price tag of about $90 million.

CBRE's Scott Gray-Spencer and Jones Lang LaSalle's directors Rob Sewell and James Aroney will steer the sales campaign for the 19-storey building, which has development approval for the construction of 95 residential apartments.

DEXUS chief executive Darren Steinberg said he expected more older-style office blocks to be earmarked for redevelopment which would be beneficial for landlords and tenants. "We see the Sydney CBD the same way as Melbourne, to make apartment-living more attractive, in terms of cost of living, project costs and the forecast population growth in the Sydney basin," he said.

Other recently earmarked potential conversions include 80 Alfred Street, North Sydney and the Ausgrid site at 570 George Street, which is for sale with a price tag of more than $150 million.

"Milsons Point is regarded as the north shore's premium apartment market and trades off the demand for luxury apartments offering a harbour-side location and harbour views," Mr Gray-Spencer said.

Neighbouring developments include the former Sharp offices, now known as Latitude; the transformation of Yellow Pages House into the Azure apartments; and the redevelopment of the former Random House building into the Point apartments.

Mr Sewell said a range of factors were expected to drive developer interest in potentially the last major harbour-side residential development in the North Sydney market.

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