THE first stages of Parramatta City Council's landmark development, Parramatta Square, are a step closer to being realised, following last week's Council meeting where Councillors voted to initiate the first two development sites at 169 Macquarie Street and 160 Church Street.
Parramatta Square, previously known as Civic Place, is planned across three-hectares of Council-owned space and real estate in the Parramatta CBD and seeks to create a vibrant, central Western Sydney hub.
The project is expected to include public space, corporate centres, retail and dining options, new Council facilities, strong connections to the Parramatta transport interchange and accommodation for 13,000 workers.
Lord Mayor of Parramatta, John Chedid, said Council is making great progress in pushing forward the City's vision for Parramatta Square. The Mayor said the development application for the Macquarie Street property has already been lodged, with approval expected later this year.
"We have engaged CBRE as real estate agents to sell these two properties. An Expression of Interest campaign for 169 Macquarie Street will commence in March, following which we will be shortlisting potential buyers and entering into negotiations. A similar process will commence later in the year for 160 Church Street," Cr Chedid said.
"While the DA for Macquarie Street has been submitted, we expect to have the DA lodged for 160 Church Street in the next few months. We believe by getting DA approvals before the sale of these properties will make these developments more attractive to the market as it de-risks the process."
The Council is also talking to potential tenants for 169 Macquarie Street and has engaged Colliers as the leasing agent. It is intended Council will have a number of interested tenants identified for the building as part of the package for sale.
"Parramatta Square represents a desirable and lucrative place to invest and do business. It emphasises Parramatta's role in meeting the business, cultural, entertainment and tourism needs of the fastest growing region in the country," Cr Chedid said.
In July 2012, Council announced Architectus and Grimshaw as the winners of the Parramatta Square Design Excellence Competitions for 169 Macquarie Street and 160 Church Street respectively.
Architectus' proposal for 169 Macquarie Street includes 25,000 square metres of commercial office space and is expected to set new environmental and quality standards in Parramatta, including the area's first green roof.
Grimshaw's winning design for 160 Church Street is a 65-storey, mixed-use tower, which would make it one of the tallest residential buildings in the state. The design includes landscaped sky gardens every six floors, to be shared by smaller communities.