Abandoned Waymouth St food court to be transformed into new retail and dining plaza

Work will begin next month on the multi million-dollar redesign of an unused office food court in the CBD — with famous designer Jamie Durie helping create a new high-end retail plaza.

Celebrity designer Jamie Durie has linked up with global architects Woods Bagot to revamp the ground floor area of 11 Waymouth St, which was sold to Singapore real estate investor Mapletree for $202 million in 2017.

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TV star Jamie Durie is to greenscape the new look. Picture: Jerad Williams

The building houses about 2000 workers but its once-bustling ground floor food court has been largely abandoned.

The new plan includes a sparkling 300 square metre mezzanine floor, plus seven food, beverage and retail tenancies that will spread out into a plaza overlooked by the new $250m GPO Exchange office tower and a planned Westin hotel.

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11 Waymouth St’s proposed front entrance.

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11 Waymouth St will have wi-fi and workspaces for city workers, the designer says.

Woods Bagot’s project lead designer Simon Tothill said the plaza would provide food, drink, retail and workspace options for thousands of city employees in the area.

“There will be wi-fi coverage and people can move downstairs where the new tenancies will be,” he said.

“(When) Woods Bagot designed 11 Waymouth St in 2007, it was the first major office building in 10 years. But the lobby concept has been overtaken by free flowing eateries along Waymouth St.

“The plaza is an example of providing tenants a space to work and meet in.”

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11 Waymouth St's planned interior.

An open doors approach within the building will be complemented by a new entrance, with a laneway — named Telegraph Lane in homage to the GPO — to be carved through the existing building to access the plaza.

That will be a continuation of the city’s Riverbank to Market laneways policy, Mr Tothill said.

An 180sqm flagship restaurant will be installed next to the planned Westin Hotel and will face inward to the plaza, he said.

“If we create our own laneway experience, we can drive people into a really beautiful plaza space. As soon as Westin became confirmed, it built a momentum.”

Almost 8000 people are expected to work in the buildings adjacent the plaza with 2400 workers coming from the new Charter Hall-built GPO tower alone.

Sydney-based celebrity designer Jamie Durie, who has a global profile thanks to his work with Oprah Winfrey, has been brought into the project to “greenscape” the plaza to create a “blur” between the interior and exterior elements, Mr Tothill said.

“Jamie will greenscape it all, there will be a green wall and there will be plenty of plants.

“Jamie is absolutely positive about it, from the smallest plant to the largest plant.”

The project will be completed within the first half of next year with late opening hours likely.

CBRE agents Julia Pottenger and Julie Thomas have been tasked with finding the new tenants.

Abandoned Waymouth St food court to be transformed into new retail and dining plaza — with help from Jamie Durie by Richard Evans originally seen in The Advertiser 30 August 2019.

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