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Wollongong undergoing multi-million dollar revitalisation

The Wollongong Central development site.

The Wollongong Central development site.

WOLLONGONG is undergoing major growth with more than $500 million in new development in the city taking place.

At present there are several major developments taking place. These include the $19 million Crown Street Mall refurbishment and the $200 million expansion of GPT Crown Central.  Other major sites being developed include:

  • The former Dairy Farmers site at Gladstone Avenue, Wollongong, the Vantage Residential Development  – $38million
  •  The new Australian Tax Office building on Kembla Street  – $16million
  •  Wollongong Public Hospital’s expansion – $106million
  •  47 – 51 Crown Street Wollongong (former Oxford tavern site)
  • The Flinders street site is currently being remediated and prepared for future works.

Gateway Wollongong Pty Ltd is preparing a masterplan for the site to be submitted to Council.

Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said revitalisation is occurring across the city with increasing interest in investment.

“We are also currently seeing renewed interest in some key major sites across our city with the finalisation of a number of property transactions from large publicly listed funds management companies.

“Institutional based investors look very critically at their investments with a risk based approach being conducted through a vast network of resources,” Cr Bradbery said.

“Recent investment in our city at this level is a strong indicator Wollongong is being viewed as a place of opportunity.”

On the other end of the scale there are a number of innovative, small businesses popping up around the city with more than 10 small bars, cafes and galleries opening in a matter of months.

Mark Grimson Economic Development Manager said Council is currently taking enquiries and working closely with a number of small business operators looking to get involved with Wollongong’s thriving cosmopolitan scene.

“Active street frontages, vibrant spaces and a diverse evening economy will culminate to deliver a city where people want to live, work and enjoy their leisure time,” Mr Grimson said.

“The large investment currently coming in to our city can partly be attributed to a renewed focus on getting the street level components of our city right first – it’s paying off.”

Council has also announced consent has been granted for generic outdoor dining within Crown Street Mall, Globe Lane, and the Arts Precinct. The approvals will significantly reduce the complicated process for restaurant and café owners within these precincts to operate outdoor dining and further demonstrates Council’s commitment to the achieving a vibrant and liveable city.

Council also has prepared a submission to the NSW Taskforce for Decentralisation on its Decade of Decentralisation Strategy and associated policies. The submission highlighted the benefits of relocating a government department to Wollongong.

“We have lower rental costs, without compromising on skills and service delivery,” Mr Grimson said.

“If successful the strategy will provide greater employment opportunities for Wollongong community members and enable a number of development approved sites in the city the opportunity to get off the ground.

“The City’s Revitalisation is well underway and combined with our world-class university, coastal lifestyle, burgeoning cosmopolitan café scene and the benefits of the early roll out of the National Broadband Network, Wollongong is truly establishing itself as a great place to live, learn, work and do business.”

About Mick Roberts

A newspaper journalist, writer and local historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in the Sydney and Illawarra regions of NSW for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides authoring a number of history books, Mick has owned and operated several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limted), Sydney based, City News, and is now with Torch Publications.

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