SYDNEY Olympic Park will be transformed into a 24/7 mini-city within 14 years — with 45-storey residential towers, a thriving shopping/cafe precinct, 17,000 new jobs and 10 times its current population.
The Baird government’s 2030 Master Plan for Olympic Park shows that it will become a centre for Sydney siders to live, work and play in.
The view from Olympic Boulevard North. Picture: NSW Government
Revelations of the changes at Olympic Park come as The Daily Telegraph today launches Project Sydney, an editorial campaign aimed at encouraging long-term thinking in planning a better city.
This new lease of life for the precinct guarantees the long-term legacy of the home of the Sydney Olympics 16 years after the Games ended.
Artist’s aerial view of Sydney Olympic Park. Picture: NSW Government
While it has remained the home of many of Sydney’s major events, including the State of Origin, Royal Easter Show and NRL Grand Final, it has struggled for a greater purpose.
The redevelopment will supercharge the pre- and post-event experience at Olympic Park’s major venues with new bars, cafes and shops, while also becoming a permanent residential hub.
The combined value of the residential and commercial hub, associated infrastructure, and the coming redevelopment of ANZ Stadium is estimated to top $10 billion.
Several new zones at the site will allow the construction of 150 metre-high apartment buildings to create the new mini-metropolis, underpinned by fresh infrastructure, a new retail centre and almost certainly a new school.
Olympic Park will be the centrepiece of a new light rail link between Parramatta and Strathfield, and new bus services from the Park to Rhodes via the new Bennelong Bridge. The Master Plan shows the light rail will travel down Australia Avenue at the site.
Views of Sydney Olympic Park in 2030. Picture: NSW Government
It is predicted the Olympic Park investment will generate a long-awaited jobs and population bonanza.
The plan reveals it will have 23,500 residents — 21,000-plus more than now — and 10,700 residences.
Olympic Boulevard will be transformed and feature a 45-storey zone where apartments will sit atop shopping strips.
The retail zone will cluster around Olympic Park railway station — about 100,000sq m of retail space will be created at the site, three times previous estimates.
The Park will by 2030 offer 34,000 jobs — double its current levels.
The spectacular plans would bring 23,500 more residents to the area by 2030. Picture: NSW Government
“We finally have a well thought out plan that returns some of the highest value land in Sydney back to Sydneysiders,” NSW Sports Minister Stuart Ayres said.
“Olympic Park will (have) lively streets bustling with shops, cafes and extensive parks, open space and shared pathways for cycling and walking.”
Sources say work is already under way to fast-track upgrades to the troublesome Australia Avenue roundabout. The Hill Road off-ramp from the M4 is also underway.
Significantly, the Department of Education is investigating the potential for a new high school in the area.
Planning Minister Rob Stokes said transport and roads were crucial to the Park’s planning.
“These draft plans will help transform the area into a vibrant town centre where residents, workers and visitors can enjoy some of the best that Sydney has to offer.
The view from Olympic Boulevard South. Picture: NSW Government
“This will guarantee a future for Sydney Olympic Park as a thriving, sustainable seven-day-a-week destination that creates a great experience for visitors,” Mr Stokes said.
The Olympic Cauldron lit by Cathy Freeman at the 2000 Games will be heritage listed.
The government is believed to be preparing a Special Infrastructure Contribution (SIC) scheme for developers in the precinct. It is investigating suitable amounts for developers to contribute to the site
Artist impression of the new precinct.
The O’Brien family recently sold their home to rent an apartment in Homebush.
It was meant to be a temporary move for the family, parents Suzie and Mark and their two daughters until they bought again in Turramurra.
Critical for the O’Briens is Bicentennial Park, where the family dog Zuma gets a walk every day.
Rob Stokes Planning Minister
SYDNEY is in the midst of the biggest infrastructure boom since John Bradfield’s time.
When Bradfield oversaw the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and inner-city railway network, who could have imagined that this year NSW will spend more on building transport infrastructure than either New York or London. As much on road and rail as the other Australian states combined.
Australia Towers residents mum Suzie O’Brien and daughter Kyla, 16 with their dog Zuma at Olympic Park / Picture: Adam Taylor
But we are not just building infrastructure; we are restoring a city. Like Bradfield, our vision is not just about a bridge or a railway. Bradfield saw his role as planning the future of the greatest city in the southern hemisphere. For example, when the Sydney Harbour Bridge opened in 1932 it had 10 lanes — four for rail and tram, six for traffic. It was built for Sydney’s future, not merely for the 1930s.
Our Olympic legacy should be similarly future-focused. It’s not hard to remember when the Olympic flame graced our stadium 16 years ago. Since then our athletes have been to Salt Lake City, Athens, Turin, Beijing, Vancouver, London, Sochi and Rio, while our own Sydney Olympic Park has languished.
An artist’s impression of the new Olympic Park / Supplied
The Olympic corridor is now the heart of our city. Yet nothing much happens there except when the Sharks make the grand final or Katy Perry is performing.
Olympic Park is just one example of the lack of co-ordination that has framed Sydney’s development, but we have the expertise to fix this. Our planners and builders, academics and tradies are first class. The Greater Sydney Commission has a mandate to unite government, agencies and communities into a shared and collaborative blueprint for our city.
ALL great cities are defined by the people who live in them.
While Sydney is blessed with undisputed natural beauty, it is what we do with that beauty that counts, how we harness all that is naturally wonderful about our city and how we create that remarkable sense of belonging and pride.
It’s a character that sometimes we don’t recognise ourselves, but that visitors from around the world spot in an instant: Entrepreneurial, aspirational and competitive. Determined. Clever.
The view from Australia Avenue / Picture: NSW Government
Today, The Daily Telegraph launches Project Sydney. Over the next two weeks we will each day within these pages tell the stories of our evolving city. We will talk about the clever ideas being dreamt up and the plans under construction.
We will tap the spirit and the genius of our people to capture the next steps as part of the grand, never-ending project that is Sydney.
The origins of Project Sydney start with John Bradfield, the engineer of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and whose vision for an underground rail network built the foundations of modern Sydney.
The spirit of Bradfield will drive Project Sydney, with our brightest minds of today shaping all aspects of our city, from the transport systems and the designs of our buildings and living spaces to how emerging technologies will change every aspect of not only how we live but how we think and prosper.
The Project Sydney series will culminate with the Bradfield Oration, this year to be delivered by Lucy Turnbull, in her role as the chief commissioner of the Greater Sydney Commission. The story of Sydney is in many ways chaotic and crazy, a city forever on the move, growing and evolving in character and in appearance. Today we begin to write the next chapter.