Harry Seidler’s iconic MLC Centre precinct is undergoing a $170 million transformation.
Upon completion it’ll have 30 dining venues, along with a clutch of luxury retailers and a revamped Theatre Royal. It’s also getting a new name: 25 Martin Place. The centre, which opened in 1978, was originally named after its original occupant, the financial institution MLC Limited. It’s now owned and operated by Dexus.
When the first stage of the project opens later this year, you can expect a public plaza lined with a range of indoor and al fresco diners overlooking Martin Place. And it’s bringing in some top talent: the group behind Nour, Henrietta and Lilymu is set to launch Aalia, a Mediterranean-style diner with a focus on seafood cooked over charcoal.
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There’ll also be Australia’s first outpost of New Zealand’s Botswana Butchery steakhouse, which will sprawl over three levels and include a rooftop bar; an eatery serving Japanese food from the team behind Nikkei-style Canberra restaurant Inka; an Italian wine bar and eatery; a Mexican cocktail bar; and a double-storey Chinese-fusion restaurant. Those venues are expected to open around October, with another slate of eateries to be announced in the coming months.
The launch of the refreshed precinct is set to coincide with the reopening of the 1100-seat Theatre Royal, after an extensive makeover. Its first show will be the Australian premiere of the Alanis Morrissette-inspired musical Jagged Little Pill.
Luxury Italian fashion house Valentino will anchor the premium-fashion side of the project, with its Australian flagship opening across two levels and 765 square metres on the corner of King and Castlereagh streets. While other fashion retailers are yet to be announced, Dexus’s head of retail leasing Eddie Giraldo says to expect premium streetwear targeting high-end CBD workers.
“The brands, minds and designs that have come together to make this new precinct a reality are second to none,” says Giraldo.
At the time of its construction, the MLC Centre was the tallest skyscraper in the Southern Hemisphere. Architect Woods Bagot, which is overseeing the refresh of the precinct, is working closely with Harry Seidler & Associates for the 21st-century update to the legendary architect’s original vision for the building.
The first group of eateries at 25 Martin Place is slated to open in October. Jagged Little Pill will open in September, while Valentino is set to launch before Christmas.