The Reserve Bank of Australia wants to spend a quarter of a billion dollars to upgrade its heritage-listed 1960s headquarters in the heart of Sydney’s CBD.
The $259.7 million works will fix leaky sewer risers, replace lifts, reconfigure workspaces, install insulation and replace glass windows to bring the ageing building up to modern standards.
The iconic 22-storey tower at 65 Martin Place – where the central bank manages Australia’s monetary system and influences the cost of loans and mortgages – was completed in 1964 in the “International Modernist” architectural style.
The bank’s quest for better digs, and $9 million in furniture and fixtures, will be examined by a federal parliament public works committee in Sydney on Friday.
The RBA had considered selling the building, but this option was rejected due to its need for special items like heavy-duty vaults to store banknotes.
“Selling and leasing or constructing a new facility offered the least favourable value for money option over the long-term, with costs far in excess of the options to upgrade the existing building,” the RBA said in its submission to the committee.
When the works are complete, the RBA will have an extra two floors of space, which it could theoretically rent out for up to $2.7 million a year.
It has previously let building space to law firms.
But there won’t be any children running about the premises with the RBA ruling out childcare facilities.
“Due to the restricted access and critical nature of the operations, there is no plan to incorporate childcare provisions on the site,” it said.