Commonwealth Bank and software company, Atlassian, are the remaining two bidders in the race to buy the NSW government-owned Australian Technology Park in inner Sydney.
The sale of the ATP, the tech park site to startup incubators ATP Innovations and Startmate, has attracted heavyweight investors such as Mirvac Group, Walker Corporation and China’s Aqualand, sparking fears that it would be lost as a tech hub to residential development.
According to the AFR, Mirvac is currently placed as the frontrunner, with plans to have Commonwealth Bank as an anchor tenant, but also add apartments.
The Walker-Atlassian bid remains a leading contender with plans to completely revitalise the 14-hectare site on the edge of Sydney’s CBD, to create an innovation hub for Australian tech startups and growth companies to collaborate much like Roosevelt Island in New York, Silicon Roundabout or Shoreditch in London.
Atlassian founder Mike Cannon-Brookes told Business Insider last month that it would be a “huge shame” and lost opportunity for the city’s burgeoning tech industry if it was sold for another use.
“People gravitate to spaces as a manifestation of commitment,” he said .
A PricewaterhouseCoopers study commissioned by Atlassian found that the site could generate $390 million in value over 10 years as a tech hub.
Cannon-Brookes says he’s already received extensive support from tech execs in Australia and globally for its vision in building an architecturally innovative hub with an emphasis on technology, creative and research industries, and is willing to move the Sydney office of his $3.3 billion global company on to the site.
“The manifestation of the Australian Technology Park, which is named gloriously but isn’t really, I don’t think anyone would actually tell you that that’s exactly what it is right now,” he said.
“It’s what it could be.”
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