Friday, 18 April 2014

Around Town

Hold on Epping’s future
Parramatta Lord Mayor, John Chedid, said there was little point having a poll on whether Epping should be under the jurisdiction of one council rather than two, Parramatta or Hornsby. Clr said the issue should wait until the state government’s current review of local government in NSW was finished.
Sold for $41.1 million
Hatch Pty Ltd has sold a 3547-square-metre property, at 154 Silverwater Road, to a private investor, for $4.1 million.
Industrial team boost
Toby Anderson has joined Savills’ Parramatta office, expanding its industrial team. He was previously with Jones Lang LaSalle.
40 per cent A grade
Parramatta CBD had 685,878 square metres of office stock at December 2013. Approximately 40 per cent of the stock was A Grade, with B, C and D Grade space comprising approximately 60 per cent of the market, according to a Savills report.
$28.75 million for building
Marshall Property has acquired a 7127-square-metre office building at 93 George Street, Parramatta for $28.75 million from Quintessential Equity. The NSW government has signed a new 5-year lease in the property, providing a net income of $2.7 million. The property previously sold in December 2009 for $18.5 million.
$2 million for park
NSW Environment Minister, Robyn Parker, said $2 million funding would be spent on construction of a hard staging area giving The Crescent, in Parramatta Park, the necessary infrastructure to host large outdoor events.
Promotion for Eat Street
In an effort to support the restaurants in the Eat Street precinct in Church Street from dust and other inconveniences during the nearby construction of the two-tower Meriton Apartments and the proposed Lennox Car Park project, council will consider undertaking a comprehensive promotion of the area.
Upgrade of open space

Parramatta City Council has prepared a draft masterplan for the 4.4-hectare Robin Thomas Reserve and James Reserve, the most significant open space, at the eastern end of the CBD, to cater to the increasing number of city workers and current and proposed residents of nearby high-density developments.

Council to seek Japanese expertise

The expertise of Japanese firms will be sought by Parramatta City Council regarding opportunities associated with council’s multi-million Parramatta Square and Parramatta Light Rail projects.
This comes about following the visit to Japan by Professor Edward Blakely, Honorary Professor of Urban Policy, at the US Studies Centre, University of Sydney. 
Arrangements were made for Professor Blakely to meet with Japanese transportation and investment firms to discuss the potential for building, operating and financing the light rail project and examine projects similar to the design and development of Parramatta Square, a mix of high-rise office and residential accommodation, adjacent to train station.
“Marubeni Corporation and Mitsubishi have the desire, expertise and financing capability to construct and manage a light rail like that envisaged for Parramatta and Western Sydney,” Professor Blakely said.
He said the company, the lead firm on the Gold Coast Light Rail, was prepared to offer advice on how council should proceed in completing a business case for light rail.
The Toranomon Hills Complex, in Central Tokyo was similar to the Parramatta Square, he said.
Council resolved to further investigate the Toronomo Hills project with a view to enhance the $1.6 billion Parramatta Square project and iiaise with Marubeni and Mitsubishi and other interested companies to gauge interest in their potential involvement in the light rail project.
Professor Blakely said a conclusion of his attendance at an Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) meeting was that Parramatta needed to accelerate its opportunities to connect the universities of Western Sydney and New England, and other organisations, as essential to improving local economic performance (see box).
“They represent world best practice in creating urban areas for the future,” he said..

Professor Blakely, acting in the capacity as advisor to Lord Mayor, John Chedid, attended an urban economic development symposium at the invitation of the OECD.

10,000 university students for Parramatta

A signature high-rise building will be the centrepiece of a university campus for up to 10,000 students in the Parramatta central business district.
The University of Western Sydney board of trustees gave in-principle agreement on Wednesday to develop a new multi-storey home for the university, estimated to cost more than $120 million to build, in the "civic heart" of Parramatta.
Four development sites including the Parramatta Square precinct are believed to be under consideration by the university as it calls for expressions of interest for a joint venture development or lease arrangement. It will make a final decision in June and wants to occupy the building by 2017 with a focus on business, law and postgraduate studies.
The decision to go high rise is a significant one. The University of Technology Sydney set a precedent for high-rise education in the 1970s with its brutalist architectural-style tower off Broadway at the southern of the Sydney business centre. But no others have followed its lead until now.
UWS vice-chancellor Professor Barney Glover said the tower would allow the university to double international enrolments, currently 4000 students or 9.8 per cent of enrolments, figures which are low by higher education standards. He said the site also would be used to target postgraduate students.
“With our existing Parramatta campus almost at capacity, we plan to significantly expand our presence in the CBD, where we can be co-located with business and industry and increase our connection to the social, economic and civic life of Parramatta and greater western Sydney,” Professor Glover said.
"The beauty of this location is its proximity to transport and we are looking forward to Parramatta opening up to the light rail network, which would link to our south Parramatta campus.
"Transport is important for postgrad students and vitally important for international students. The evidence is abundantly clear that students out of Asia are attracted to busy urban centres."
Parramatta Lord Mayor John Chedid said the new campus would help attract high-end jobs to the city and allow the university to forge links with major businesses in Parramatta and build the case for a western Sydney light rail network.