The developer of Sydney’s cracked Opal Tower has pulled out of bidding for the iconic harbourside Sirius unit complex after a group of local politicians urged the NSW premier to block the sale.
“Ecove was previously a minority member of one of the shortlisted consortia but has withdrawn from the process,” a Property NSW spokesman said on Thursday night.
“The evaluation process is ongoing and yet to be finalised and remains commercial in confidence.”
The NSW government is “evaluating proposals” for the Sirius site and a number of proponents have been shortlisted.
Local MPs Alex Greenwich and Jamie Parker, Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore and SaveOurSirius chairman Shaun Carter on Wednesday warned allowing Ecove to buy the brutalist building would be a “grave mistake and provoke distrust in government processes and objectives”.
“We understand the sale of the Sirius building is imminent and there are rumours that the Opal Towers developer Ecove is the government’s preferred buyer,” they wrote in an open letter to Premier Gladys Berejiklian.
“Such a sale would be a grave mistake and would provoke distrust in government processes and objectives.”
The harbourside apartment block – which has been used for social housing for more than 30 years – was put up for sale in 2018 but its fate remains unclear.
The group of local politicians said the state government should retain the “structurally-sound, architecturally iconic building” for social and affordable housing.
The Opal Tower in Sydney’s Olympic Park was evacuated on Christmas Eve after residents heard cracking sounds in parts of the building.
An independent review has since found that although the building is structurally sound it requires “significant rectification works”.
Ecove director Bassam Aflak told AAP on Thursday night: “Because of tender protocols it’s not appropriate that we comment.”