When will we see Parramatta Road revitalised?

By Kristian Morris

Over the 10 plus years or so we’ve worked in commercial real estate, we’ve seen many plans to get Parramatta Road back to a thriving thoroughfare. Our questions for you are: do you believe revitalisation will happen? If yes, is it worth hanging on to your Parramatta Road property?

To help you answer those questions, we’re broken the thoroughfare into precincts to give you a better idea of what you can expect.

Development constraints on Parramatta Road precincts

Constraints on development include the requirement for provision of public space, setbacks and street frontage heights, heritage restrictions to preserve the ‘fine grain’ typology of the road and a requirement for new connections as well as transitions to existing residential. You can find a more detailed look by clicking on the Landcom site, then scrolling to Strategy documents/Planning and Design Guidelines.

Be aware: Most developers look for a land area of a minimum of 1,000 square metres to regard the site as a viable development site. If you’re holding your property in the hope that a developer will offer above-market price, you might need our help to make this happen. For example, if you own a single small property on Parramatta Road, we can help you work with next-door owners to amalgamate sites to offer in a single line to a developer. 

First, let’s look at some of the Parramatta Road precincts.

The Camperdown Precinct

Although this precinct is covered as a single precinct in the guidelines, we believe opportunities occur in two distinct areas; that is, the education and student accommodation area and further to the west, the medical precinct.

However, what’s possible depends on the height and floor space ratio (FSR) restrictions. Along this section, the proposed height is limited to 32 metres (8 storeys) and the density (floor space ratio or FSR) is up to 4.0:1.

Parramatta Road Camperdown education/student accommodation precinct 

Close to Sydney University, the first area has opportunities for adjunct university facilities as well as flow-over student accommodation.

 Parramatta Road Camperdown medical precinct 

This section of the Camperdown precinct is close to the Royal Prince Alfred, the primary teaching hospital of the University of Sydney. Development in this medical precinct could include medical centres, pathology labs and student accommodation.

The Leichhardt Area Precinct

In this area,planners expect most development activity to be along Norton Street and into Lewisham/Summer Hill on the opposite side of Parramatta Road. Potential long-term growth would include up to 2,400 new homes by 2050 as well as vibrant new mixed-use entertainment spaces. However, as most of this precinct is zoned Commercial and community access, there are limited opportunities for residential. 

The maximum height in this precinct is 22 metres with a maximum density of 3.0:1. Any development will need to include space for public benefit such as open space, plazas or new connections in the form of laneways. The scale of any development will need to transition to lower heights so as not to dominate existing residential properties.

Taverners Hill Precinct

Taverners Hill is characterised by warehouse-style structures. The area is known for big-box retail, self-storage and home improvement outlets. The proposed new main street ‒ Tebbutt Street ‒ will have taller buildings and active space around the light rail stop. Planners envisage any development will be smaller in scale – more ‘local neighbourhood’ than ‘destination retail’. Due to the current scale and character of this section of Parramatta Road, planners want to ensure that the fine-grained nature and heritage are preserved. These planning aspirations mean there is limited opportunity for large-scale development. 

Heights will be restricted to 32 metres and then only on Upward Street, land close to the Marion light rail stop and nearby areas that include Kegworth Public School and Leichhardt Marketplace. Along Parramatta Road, allowable heights range from 17 to 21 metres. Allowable density tops out at 2.4:1 but is limited to pockets within the development area. For most of this section of Parramatta Road, the allowable maximum density is 2.0:1.

Kings Bay-Five Dock Precinct

Nicknamed ‘auto alley’, this precinct is characterised by large blocks and low-rise development. While new retail is encouraged, planners wish to ensure this precinct doesn’t compete with the established town centre at Five Dock.

Opportunities in this include enhancing the new local village along Spencer Street, which is the focus of land use recommendations.

Allowable heights top out at 80 metres with a transition to the edges of this area. Maximum density of 3.0:1 can occur in some pockets but for most of the Parramatta Road area, allowable density is 2.4:1, transitioning to 1.4:1 at the edges.

Parramatta Road isn’t a one-size-fits-all

As you can see, the controls have been designed to enhance Parramatta Road while maintaining its heritage. In some precincts, planners favour ‘adaptive reuse’ rather than knock-down-and-rebuild. We have access to professionals who can assess your building and, if needed, help with the Development Application process so you and we can offer a full package to potential developers.

Let us help you with your commercial property

As dedicated local commercial real estate agents, we can help you extract more value from your commercial property. Please get in touch to discuss your circumstances and assets so that we can give you personalised advice. Whether it’s commercial leasing, management or sales, we’re here to help you with your Sydney-based commercial property.

Contact us at Ray White Commercial Sydney City Fringe

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