A $380 million mixed-used development in Parramatta's "auto alley" has been given the green light by the Sydney West Planning Panel.
The development is part of the $876 million gateway south Parramatta precinct designed to bring a new retail, commercial and residential living experience to Sydney’s second city.
The proposal is located across three amalgamated sites at 57, 63 and 83 Church Street and will comprise a tower above a retail and residential podium on the west side of the site and two commercial buildings fronting Church Street to the east. At the northern edge of the site, the tallest tower, with an integrated services and plant roof feature rises as the area’s primary structure designating the gateway entry point into the Parramatta CBD.
Western Sydney developer, Dyldam is said to have acquired the site in September 2015 for $150 million. AJ+C and Turner were jointly awarded the project, with AJ+C appointed as coordinating architect. Oculus were appointed as public domain and landscape architects.
Other major projects in the area includes the redevelopment of the Parramatta Mission and Uniting Church, a new Powerhouse Museum, and several projects in the Parramatta Square precinct including a new civic building.
The project includes three 30-40 storey residential towers with retail/commercial uses on the lower levels. There will also be two 10-storey commercial buildings fronting Church Street, around 3,000 square metres of public open space, a 2000 square metre public park, basement supermarket and extensive car parking.
A series of interlocking plazas runs through the centre of the site and forms an active public domain, connecting the retail, commercial, hotel, residential and parkland components into one landscaped urban space.
With the support of the local Council, the zoning and height criteria were amended to significantly improve the feasibility of the project in order to become the critical renewal catalyst for the South Parramatta and Auto Alley precincts. The site is expected to benefit greatly from its proximity to the services, businesses, transportation networks and recreational opportunities of the central Parramatta area.
“The concept design reinforces the 'gateway' location and provides a distinct sense of arrival from the south to the Parramatta city centre through the scale, form, and architectural design of the development,” the proposal said.
The design has a strong horizontal articulation to delineate the various functions intended for the building; hotel lobby, restaurant and cafe on the ground floor, hotel rooms on the levels above and a second restaurant and bar in a pavilion style structure on the top floor with a roof terrace to the east and north. lower the visual bulk of the building and allow solar access to the lower floors of the northern residential tower opposite.
The northern residential tower has been scaled, shaped and clad to create a distinctive landmark element at the CBD end of the site, in keeping with its role as a gateway to the new Auto Alley precinct.
The façade is clad in rippling ribbons of curtain wall glass to express Parramatta’s location at the "meeting of the waters" where the fresh river water meets the salty water of Sydney harbour.
The precinct’s central residential tower, taking position between the two tallest and more prominent towers at the northern and southern ends of the site, features a facade with a rich pattern of misaligned yet horizontal concrete panels, complimented by fine glass detailing.
A pedestrian bridge has also been suggested to connect the subject site to 87-89 Church Street on the opposite side of the Great Western Highway to improve pedestrian accessibility to and from Parramatta CBD. The bridge will be a major element in the public art strategy for the site, and includes a stair and lift at each end from Plaza level to the bridge deck level.
The project is estimated to cost well over $380 million and is estimated for completion in 2022.