THE NSW Government has approved a plan to beautify and provide improved facilities at the site of the former Entertainment Centre site, known as Darling Square, which is the final piece in the wider Sydney International Convention Exhibition and Entertainment precinct.
"Darling Harbour entertains more than 25 million overseas, interstate and local visitors each year and Darling Square will be a vibrant neighbourhood to live, work, play and enjoy," Housing and Planning Minister Anthony Roberts said in a statement last week.
"The now fully approved Darling Square includes offices, shops, around 1500 homes, and more than 1500 student accommodation beds," Mr Roberts said, adding that this final approval provides the precinct with public space for residents and visitors to enjoy.
The Minister said the centrepiece of the precinct, Darling Exchange, will be a spectacular and uniquely designed six-storey building that includes market halls, a childcare centre, a roof top restaurant and bar and a library with a designated 'Innovation Exchange' providing IQ hub space for freelancers and start up workers.
"We have also given approval for what will be known as 'The Square' – more than 3000 square metres of public open space, as well as a new pedestrian laneway across the site.
"This final approval guarantees that this vibrant new neighbourhood in the heart of the city is open, encourages a healthy lifestyle and can be enjoyed by residents, workers and tourists alike," Mr Roberts said.
The Darling Square precinct is expected to generate $868 million over six plots and create 5,931 jobs, including 2,574 construction jobs and 3,357 jobs once operational.