Atlassian’s $1.4b HQ passes key milestone, readies construction

Brandon How

Atlassian has formalised its investment in a new $1.4 billion headquarters that will be located in Sydney’s technology and innovation precinct.

ASX-listed property developer Dexus confirmed on Wednesday that the software firm had exchanged transaction documents which bind it to fund, develop, and invest in the 40-level tower.

Atlassian Central is expected to cost $1.4 billion

All project costs during construction of ‘Atlassian Central’ will be borne by Dexus, with construction expected to begin in the second half of 2022 and be complete in 2026. The building features 33 commercial office floors predominantly occupied by Atlassian as it brings together at least 1,400 staff from across three Sydney offices.

So far Atlassian has leased the office accommodation for 15 years. Upon completion of the building, Atlassian will hold around a 35-40 per cent stake in the asset with the remaining 60-65 per cent being held by Dexus. However, prior to completion, Dexus may bring in additional third-party capital.

The building was designed by New York-based architects SHoP in partnership with Australian firm BVN following a competitive design process. When complete, it will be the world’s largest hybrid timber building. Other features include natural ventilation, access to vegetated common spaces, and eateries.

The skyscraper is being built at 8-10 Lee Street adjacent to Sydney Central station and the $2.5 billion Central Place Sydney development, which features a 35 and 37 storey building. Central Place Sydney is half owned by Dexus.

The building will occupy 3,487 square metres and will feature 75,000 square metres of usable space across all its floors. The ground floor will also feature retail space and a new six level Youth Hostel Australia accommodation to replace the current one being built over.

Dexus chief investment officer Ross Du Vernet said the project is an exciting prospect for the Sydney.

“This unique project will catalyse Sydney’s innovation and technology precinct, Tech Central and set a new global benchmark in sustainability and smart workplace that challenges the status quo. It has been a productive partnership over the past eight months in which we have worked with Atlassian to make their bold vision a reality, and we are looking forward to the long-term relationship,” Mr Du Vernet said.

This announcement follows an earlier agreement in mid-2021 between Atlassian and Dexus to create a framework to reach a funding, development, and investment decision. Dexus exclusively invests in Australian property and has accrued a portfolio worth $45.3 billion.

The Sydney Tech Central is a 24-hectare innovation and technology precinct being developed under the guidance of the New South Wales government. Aside from Atlassian Central, the precinct also features a space research network, quantum startup hub, and a scaleup hub. The state government has contributed around $48.2 million to support its development so far.

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