Contractors from around the world are being sought for the final part of the biggest commercial building project currently underway in Sydney.

Launching an international search for proposals to deliver the $6 billion Central Barangaroo precinct, New South Wales Premier Barry O’Farrell said he anticipates strong interest in what he described as one of the most significant waterfront development projects anywhere in the world.

“This is an important next stage in the development of Barangaroo – it’s a competitive process to bring forward the best and most innovative ideas from around the world,”he said. “Central Barangaroo will be the heart of Barangaroo, combining cultural and creative attractions with open and active spaces on the edge of Sydney Harbour, apartments, shops, restaurants and offices.”

The last of a three-stage process of Sydney’s most significant waterfront redevelopment project currently underway, the 5.2-hectare Barangaroo Central is set to form the innovation and creativity ‘heart’ of the Barangaroo precinct, and will form a cultural and civic focal point for recreation, events and entertainment.

A vision outlined in a master plan released last year included ‘Sydney Steps’ to create a gateway between the city and Barangaroo as well as a continuous 30-metre wide public foreshore walk, a new waterfront civic centre and park and alternative sites for a new culture venue.

Development is set to occur over five to 10 years, with Stage 1 public domain works including the waterfront and an interim public domain set to be completed next year and all works to be finalised by 2012.

Registrations of interest from prospective designers and investment partners interested in developing the precinct are now open, with a formal call for expressions of interest (EOI) set to be issued around the middle of the month.

Subsequent to this, O’Farrell says, the Barangaroo Delivery Authority will also seek to determine interest regarding commercial, civic, cultural, community and educational uses that may be accommodated within the precinct.