Developer Proposes ‘New Age’ Boarding House for Parramatta


NSW-based developer Revelop Holdings have lodged a proposal with the City of Parramatta for an eight-storey boarding house.

Designed by PBD Architects, Revelop have committed around $5 million to the project the site located at 109A Wigram Street, Harris Park – 30 kilometres from Sydney’s CBD and on the eastern fringe of the Parramatta City Centre Precinct.

The proposed building will be a commercial office and boarding house hybrid, offering commercial tenancies on the ground floor with the floors above providing affordable residential options.

Parra Aff Housing 2

The ground floor commercial offerings will be provided in two separate space which will take up a total of 115 square metres, while outside on the ground the developers have avoided including car parking so as to not affect the streetscape or disrupt the Parramatta City Centre. There will be, however, spaces for bicycles and motorbikes on site.

The boarding house is expected to include 42 rooms with each room fitted with full bathroom, kitchenette and living area.

“The boarding house will accommodate a total of 82 lodgers based on the room size and configuration (41 double rooms) along with an on-site manager,” the proposal said.

“The development also includes a communal room and outdoor communal open space within the 6th floor.”

Parra Site

The site currently contains a single-storey brick and tile building that the developer has proposed to demolish.

Revelop aims to remove the “stigma” of social housing. In their proposal, they have pointed to the structure as housing a “new generation” boarding house which they describe as “designed to provide affordable options in priced-out areas for the average Joe.”

“New generation boarding houses can provide low cost, flexible rental accommodation to a wide range of tenants, particularly single retirees, homeless, working singles, students and young couples,” the proposal said.

“Stakeholders involved in the delivery of affordable rental housing are finding that there is often a lack of understanding in the local communities of the people likely to be accommodated in affordable rental housing.

“Local opposition has been most acute for low-rise infill housing in low-density residential areas. This can lead to local resident opposition to new affordable housing proposals as they objected to ‘social housing’ occupants their area, because of perceived social issues and potential for impacts on property values.

"[Community opposition] is frequently based on a misunderstanding of the nature of the people that qualify to occupy the affordable rental housing."

In 2016, there were 5,874 people residing in Harris Park. The population of Harris Park grew by an additional 727 residents between 2011 and 2016, a growth of almost 15 per cent.

“The location is ideal for the target group in terms of its proximity to public transport, community facilities and services,” the proposal said.

“Key workers, young workers and university students are the target groups for the proposed development.”

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