Lendlease chosen to build controversial $400m Parramatta Powerhouse

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Four thousand jobs are expected to be created during the construction phase, including for 300 apprentices, NSW MP for Parramatta Geoff Lee said.

Museum consultant Kylie Winkworth said it was doubtful that the museum, which came at the loss of Willow Grove, would open by 2024 as planned.

“It’s not the largest museum in NSW. It’s not even a museum. This is a commercially focused entertainment centre,” she said.

“Three and a half years after it was announced, the project still has no compelling concept, no name, no culture, and no social license.

“The best they can do is appropriate the name of the real Powerhouse Museum which is indivisible from its history and heritage building in Ultimo. There is only one Powerhouse Museum, and it’s in Ultimo.”

The Berejiklian government has not always seen eye to eye with Lendlease. The firm lost its bid to build the $344 million Sydney Modern project two years ago, after an eleventh-hour costings disagreement that delayed a start on the Art Gallery of NSW’s highly anticipated expansion.

Lendlease also lost out on the second stage of the $729 million knock-down and rebuild of the Sydney Football Stadium when its stage two offer did not “meet government expectations” according to the then sports minister.

Managing director of Lendlease Building Australia David Paterson said Powerhouse Parramatta would be one of the largest structural engineering and architecturally complex projects in Australia.

“We already have partnerships with four Western Sydney-based steel fabrication companies and look forward to signing up many more local suppliers across greater Sydney,” he said. “Sustainability will be at the heart of this building and its construction and we are proud to be delivering Parramatta’s first public 6-Star Green Star building.”

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Overseas the building Lendlease created the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York, and restored and renovated London’s Tate Britain and National Theatre.

The Parramatta Powerhouse would be its first stand-alone museum project in NSW.

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