As the new Australian Government formalises the beginnings of its new term, and as that term will have an almost total economic focus, I thought it appropriate to give an indication of what major developments are in the pipeline for our City. The ones I’ll outline have a total value approaching $200 million. This is a big investment in our City, it underlines our stability and position within greater Sydney and it is an illustration of how we are changing and adapting for the future.
The three major developments are in the area we’ve defined as the Mascot Station Precinct – an area where industry, much of it old and tired, is being replacing by vibrant residential. Not all industry is going. But what is going are the noxious, the dirty, the inappropriate.
Industry, manufacturing industry, is being replaced by commercial operations, job-creating commercial operations, that auger well for our role and place in the growing services sector. We have been able to create the right mix of residential and commercial development in the Mascot Station Precinct, as, indeed, we’ve done in parts of Botany.
This mix of commercial and residential means that we promote the creation of new jobs in our City, boosting the employment prospects of existing residents and making us attractive for new residents. But we do not seek, nor do we promote, to attract new development at any cost. The City of Botany Bay is open for new development but it has to be the right development.
Not for us unbridled high-rise residential development with no facilities for the new residents or burdens on existing residents. Not for us, cold and unattractive buildings or non descript and sole less towers that reduce rather than add to liveability. For us, new development must complement its surrounds and add to neighbourhoods and create a better lifestyle for residents.
In the developments now underway or planned, we have been able to achieve this right mix. In recent editions of our newsletter for residents, I described the changes in the Mascot Station Precinct and its vibrancy and the influx of new residents. Our City is growing and it is growing in the right direction. Singles, young couples and young families are moving in. We are seeing more children in our schools and in our playgrounds.
The new major developments not only bring in new and future residents, but they also give a boost to our local economy. From local contractors through to proving lunches to the hundreds of workers on the sites, our City gains economic positives from the developments. We also gain public infrastructure benefits – road widening and upgrades, land for public reserves, public landscaping and initiatives in sustainability, such as harvesting and reuse of storm water.
The first project I want to preview is a two stage, $150 million residential and commercial development fronting both Gardeners Road and Church Avenue is currently being assessed and subject to consultation. Some 515 residential units are proposed on the site, located 619-629 Gardeners Road and 12-14 Church Avenue. All up proposed are six towers of between six and 12 storey's, which will incorporate commercial businesses along Gardeners Road. Part of the Development Applications is for widening Church Avenue and the establishment of a public park, which would use storm water for the landscaping.
The development applications for the two stages were received in mid July and following the exhibition, which has resulted in some submissions from nearby residents, will be determined by the Joint Regional Planning Panel. Also slated for determination by the Joint Regional Planning Panel will be a $20 million, residential and commercial development at 214-220 Coward Street. This development envisages 127 residential apartments and ground floor commercial suites.
Other major developments in the pipeline include, a $6.2 million, two stage, two block, 42 apartment complex at 1 Myrtle Street Botany, replacing an old warehouse.
There is also a $3 million McDonald’s on Gardeners Road at Eastlakes, a three-storey internet exchange centre on Gardeners Road at Mascot and redevelopment of sporting facilities and fields at the University of NSW’s David Phillips Field.
These developments show confidence in our City and its future. In that future, however, is the need to create more facilities for the growing number of residents. As our City grows, our demographics change and we’re seeing more and more young families move into our suburbs, creating a need for playgrounds.
I think we’ve kept pace with growing demand and our playgrounds, both new and existing, have become a welcome place for children and those who supervise the children. There’s the regional playground at Booralee Park, which has been an outstanding success. It is soon to be replicated down in Sir Joseph Banks Park and we’re about to get underway on the district park at Mascot Oval, both of which I gave details of at our last meeting.
But it is worth reiterating that for Mascot Park we will cater for the younger age groups. And in this, we’re matching facilities with demographics. As I said last month, in the past five to 10 years we’ve seen increases in residential development in this area, boosted by our Mascot Station precinct development and the Airport Rail Link. The latest census statistics we have shows that the area around Mascot Park – Gardeners Road to the north, Botany Road to the east, King Street to the south and Alexandria Canal to the west – show that 22% of the population are children aged 0 to 19. A significantly larger proportion of children are in the 0-4 year age group – those for whom a playground is important.
The major development proposals I’ve mentioned will add to the numbers of young children, thus our decision on Mascot Park was both timely and correct. By matching demand for playgrounds, determined by census statistics, with the actual provision of playgrounds we can meet community needs and give life and livability to the new residential developments.