Infrastructure NSW are in the final stages of preparing to move Sydney Fish Markets at a cost of $749 million, making way for a series of skyscrapers along Blackwattle Bay.
The markets were fast-tracked by NSW government to boost the economy following Covid-19 and were listed in the $5.3 billion second tranche of projects.
Plans to flip Sydney Fish Markets have been on the cards since 2016 however the development application was only submitted last year alongside plans to demolish the existing marine and wharf structures.
The old Sydney Fish Market site would give way to the Blackwattle Bay urban renewal project, which is under community consultation until 19 June, with construction to start in 2025.
The NSW government proposed three similar-looking precinct scenarios for the 8.4-hectare site next to Anzac Bridge and the new Sydney Fish Market.
All included residential towers up to 45-storeys, green space and car-free zones the first was a residential-focused plan with 1,700 units, followed by a balanced-plan with slender mixed-use buildings over the podiums, or a job-focused plan including a new hotel, commercial office buildings and residential towers.
However the Blackwattle Bay urban renewal project has came under scrutiny from lord mayor of Sydney Clover Moore and independent MP Alex Greenwich.
“This is already a densely-populated area, with strictly limited space,” Moore said.
“Any new development should be sensitive and prioritise employment growth, rather than packing in additional residential towers without commensurate allocation of open space and public transport.”
The precinct would lead into the new Sydney Fish Markets: a 3-storey building with 40,751sq m footprint included a fishing-fleet servicing wharf and facilities, multi-purpose wharf with the capacity for a privately-operated ferry stop, retail, markets, business and office premises, 417 below-ground parking spaces and multifunctional spaces for events.
Danish architects 3XN led the design team for the new market—on the site of a car park and cement batching plant—ahead of Sydney firms BVN and Aspect Studios.
However many resident and community action groups objected to the proposal because of its height and size blocking the view, while tourism and fishing groups on the other hand, supported the proposal.
According to the development application the Sydney Fish Market attracts more than 3 million visitors each year, trading around 14,500 tonnes of seafood.
“Adapted from a former print storage factory, the facility was not purpose-built, is not fit-for-purpose and is struggling to meet the demands placed on it as it continues to draw more and more visitors.
“Despite this, the fish market’s authenticity is a major attractor cherished by locals and visitors alike and has underpinned its operations for over 50 years,” the application stated.
“The new Sydney Fish Market will serve many purposes–a working fish market, an amenity for the city, a cultural and tourist destination and urban connector and an inspiring icon along the Sydney Waterfront.
“It will act as a catalyst for the rejuvenation of Blackwattle Bay, which is under-utilised and largely inaccessible to the public.”