Monday, 15 August 2016

1993: Esso House becomes Highgate

The early 1990's recession created a glut of office space in central Sydney with vacancy rates reaching 25%.  Meanwhile, Sydney City Council was encouraging people to move from the suburbs into the city to improve activity. Residential developers saw that money could be made from turning ageing office blocks into upmarket apartment towers. One of the first office towers in central Sydney to be converted into an apartment tower was ESSO House. In 1993, it gained approval for Highgate, which was to be the name of the apartment tower. Crone & Associates where behind the design which included adding an extra eight levels to make the building 28 storeys or 100 metres tall. Work began that same year and was completed just one year later.

  Highgate July 22 1993 daily telegraph 54

Source: Brooks, D. 1993. "Getting living room from empty offices". The Daily Telegraph Mirror, July 22, 54. 

Sales were strong for apartments despite the "quiet" marketing"

  Highgate Apartments July 17 1994 sunday telegraph 63Highgate Apartments July 17 1994 sunday telegraph 64

Source: Koch, P. 1994. "On A High: The Highgate Development". The Sunday Telegraph, July 17: 63-64. 

It has become of the most desirable addresses in central Sydney like its neighbours Stamford on Kent & The Observatory. This has been due to its proximity to The Rocks and the city. The views of Sydney Harbour from the units have been unparalleled, though the Barangaroo development will take out the views west. Another feature has been its facilities for residents including a gym and swimming pool and security access.

Highgate as seen from Observatory Hill. Photo taken by the Author (2011).