NSW Government made this landmark site in
North Sydney available by public
tender process. The site was keenly contested, being more than one
hectare of land in the heart of North Sydney. The site housed the
first public school built on the North Shore in 1877 and
included a building in "free Gothic revival" style that is listed
by the National Trust. The proposed development on which this
tender bid was based included not only a mix of office and retail
facilities - which was common to all tenders - but also a Centre
for the Arts, with 600-seat outdoor amphitheatre, 650-750 seat
proscenium-style theatre, 250-300-seat multi-purpose theatre,
250-seat experimental theatre, rehearsal studios, administrative
facilities, training/educational facilities and an art gallery.
Ultimately the Government, which was undertaking a broad asset sale
program at the time, declined to contribute to the Arts component
and the tender bid was won by another party.
Aynsley managed the tender bid for Turner Corporation Limited and
the complex was designed by Christiana's Neville Thomas, who was
working at that time with Jackson Teece Chesterman
& Willis. Ironically, Peter Aynsley was engaged some years
later to undertake pre-completion due diligence on the development
on behalf of an intending purchaser.