With the most coveted views in Sydney overlooking Harbour Bridge and the Opera House, No. 1 Sydney was the start of an eight-year partnership working with a global investor, a visionary architect and an ambitious developer. This is an overview of the site’s evolution from asset to Australia’s first super prime residence.
As a global leader in real estate investing, Blackstone bought the Gold Fields House site on 1 Alfred Street in downtown Sydney as a piece of distressed real estate. Located at Circular Quay overlooking Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House, Blackstone’s intention for the building was always to sell it on in a B2B transaction.
At the time, there was no super prime residential developments in the whole of Australia. So after getting planning approval to transform the 1960s office building into Sydney’s first ever luxury residential development, No. 1 Sydney came into being.
Singapore-based architect Kerry Hill created a vision for a two-tower mixed-use development that encompassed a 5-star branded hotel and residences and retail area, while we worked alongside Blackstone to position the ambition of what the new building could be.
The name, the identity, the website and the investor’s film and dual-language book… we spearheaded the creative realisation of one of the most iconic super prime residences in the Southern Hemisphere. Our goal? To show potential buyers how to maximise the asset while educating them on what the super prime lifestyle might look like, Sydney style.
After the launch event at Sydney’s Modern Art Gallery, it was just two years later in early 2015 that Chinese developer Wanda bought the site for around A$415 million from Blackstone, who originally paid around A$274 million for it. But our journey didn’t stop there.
After being chosen by Blackstone because of our work on Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, Wanda re-employed us to create a new brand for the luxury development, which we called One Circular Quay. Over eight years, we worked on this project with three clients – Blackstone, Kerry Hill and Wanda – giving us the honour of steering the site’s evolution from asset to Australia’s first super prime residence.