TechCentral plan finally unveiled

James Riley
Editorial Director

The NSW Government is seeking feedback on its proposed 24-hectare Central Precinct development, and for the first time has made public its rezoning and development plans for what would become a new technology precinct for the city.

The program of work is substantial and includes the long-proposed reclamation of lands by building over rail tracks between Central and Eveleigh. It would be the largest urban renewal project in the state, larger than Barangaroo.

Documents made public on Wednesday include the proposed rezoning plans for the so-called Western Gateway redevelopment of Henry Deane Plaza and its adjacent sites – which would form the focal point of a technology precinct, as well as potentially housing Atlassian’s new global headquarters – as well as the draft strategic vision document for the much bigger Central Precinct.

The state’s planning department has proposed the Central railway site and surrounding NSW government-owned land as a Nominated State Significant Precinct, bringing with it extensive development powers.

The Western Gateway sub-precinct is the first to progress to planning stage and forms stage one of technology and innovation precinct. Ultimately it would become the geographic centre – and spiritual home, if you get on board with the tech industry leaders who have been driving the project – for Australia’s home-grown technology sector from startups to scale-ups.

That Western Gateway is meant as a “visual marker for the precinct and a focal point of the Government’s planned innovation and technology hub.

This sub-precinct is the first to progress to planning stage and has the potential to begin the renewal of Central Precinct through the creation of a thriving city hub for technology and businesses with new public spaces.”

Having been given Cabinet approval to move to its planning phase, the Western Gateway development – which includes three separate but adjacent development sites at Henry Deane Plaza – is now being exhibited via the Planning department portal with government seeking public feedback on the plans.

The Western Gateway sub-precinct is expected to include the massive 50,000 square metres of space allocated to tech companies that the NSW state government committed to securing at the last election in March.

The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment has now invited the public to have their say on the draft vision for the ambitious Central Precinct plan, as well as the rezoning plans of the Western gateway.

“The plans aim to transform Central Precinct into Sydney’s next big jobs hub and a cornerstone of the Sydney Innovation and Technology Precinct and create up to 25,000 jobs of the future,” acting deputy secretary Brett Whitworth said.

The 24-hectre Central Precinct is an area of government-owned land that spans from Central Station above the rail line to Redfern at Cleveland Street. It also includes the Goulburn Street car park and land along Lee Street.

The precinct will be largest government-led urban renewal in New South Wales, surpassing Barangaroo.

“Central Precinct is surrounded by world-class universities, more than 100 research institutes, and a vibrant ecosystem of creative businesses, on top of excellent public transport” Mr Whitworth said.

“This project aims to expand Sydney’s commercial core, better connect businesses and communities and create vibrant new public spaces,” he said.

Public feedback is open until November 27. A decision to proceed or otherwise on the Western Gateway would reasonably expected early in 2020.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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