Macquarie Park $2.2bn masterplan approved

4 May 2020

The NSW Government yesterday approved the revised masterplan and stage 1 plans for the development of a new mixed tenure community in Sydney’s Macquarie Park. The new community is set to re-define the way social, affordable and market housing are integrated together to provide a sustainable and inclusive neighbourhood for people from all walks of life.


The project’s inclusion in the Government’s Planning System Acceleration Program, created to keep the economy moving and people in jobs through the COVID-19 pandemic, was announced earlier this week.


Frasers Property Australia and tier-one community housing provider Mission Australia Housing will redevelop and transform the 8.2-hectare Ivanhoe Estate in Macquarie Park under a project development agreement.


The project, originally announced in August 2017, is part of the NSW Government’s Communities Plus program to redevelop and grow the Government’s social housing portfolio.


Over the past three years, an extensive community consultation process has taken place with the masterplan having evolved to incorporate approximately 6,000 sqm of open space; the retention of 94 per cent of the existing ecological community along Epping Road; the protection of Shrimptons Creek; revised building heights; realignment of private apartments adjacent to the existing ecology community; greater community amenity; and improved integration with the existing community.


The Australian-first project is estimated to have an end value of approximately $2.2 billion and will see the creation of more than 3,000 new dwellings, providing homes with access to infrastructure, transport, services and jobs, along with quality amenities and open green spaces to support a new vibrant, safe, integrated, cohesive and sustainable community.


The redevelopment of the Ivanhoe Estate will seamlessly integrate private housing with at least 950 new community housing dwellings and 128 affordable homes. The community housing will be of the highest contemporary quality, sustainability and comfort with all community housing tenants having access to low to zero cost heating in their homes.


This important urban renewal project will also include a new school, residential aged care facility with a seniors’ wellness centre, two childcare centres, community centre, gym and pool, a supermarket, cafés and specialty retail shops, jogging track, nature based playgrounds and exercise stations, basketball court, open green spaces and community gardens.


Mission Australia will have staffed offices on-site to assist in the delivery of support services and programs to strengthen the local community.


Mission Australia Chief Executive Officer James Toomey says the planned development is an evidence-based model for an inclusive and integrated community that provides vital homes and a neighbourhood for people from a range of socio-economic backgrounds.


“Mission Australia believes that everyone has the right to a secure and safe home. Homelessness rates are rising and are set to increase due to the impacts of COVID-19, largely due to rental stress, growing unemployment rates and a shortage of social and affordable homes. There has never been a more critical time to increase the amount of quality social and affordable housing in this area, and in NSW more broadly.


“Ivanhoe Estate will provide vital community infrastructure that will contribute much needed homes. It will be an inclusive, welcoming and connected community where everyone is encouraged to interact, enjoy the outdoor spaces and take advantage of the range of amenities offered. Importantly, there will also be a focus on providing training and employment opportunities for social and affordable housing residents.


“All residents who join the Ivanhoe Estate neighbourhood will have ease of access to education, transport, jobs and services in the area, and will be connected to opportunities and support so they can fulfil their potential, as well as strengthen connections within their community. A safe and secure home remains ever important, as it provides individuals and families with a stable base to connect with their community, maintain wellbeing, raise a family, get to work or pursue education opportunities,” said Mr Toomey.


Rod Fehring, Chief Executive Officer of Frasers Property Australia, says the project is not only important because of its scale and economic impact but also because of the partnership that underpins it.


“This partnership between the NSW Government, the community housing sector and the private sector will transform dated social housing into a range of new community and affordable homes, integrated into a unique new neighbourhood which takes advantage of the considerable amenity and employment opportunities at Macquarie Park,” Mr Fehring says.


“By taking a long term and holistic view, complemented by a design-led environmental and social sustainability approach, we believe this new community represents a better answer to Sydney’s housing needs. As a mixed tenure community, we’re confident it will succeed where others have not, paving the way for new solutions to housing issues in Australia and around the world,” he says.


Targeting the Green Building Council of Australia’s 6 Star Green Star Communities rating, the goal is for the new community to be net carbon neutral in operation.


Macquarie Park is Sydney’s fourth largest commercial and retail district located approximately 17 kilometres north west of the Sydney CBD.  In addition to Macquarie University and Hospital the area is home to the Australian headquarters of Canon, Fujitsu, Microsoft, Aristocrat, Novartis and Johnson and Johnson.


The development will incorporate a 1.5-megawatt photovoltaic system, green roofs, and will capture and re-use water. There will also be a focus on use of recycled materials and waste minimisation through construction.


Community wide initiatives such as extensive landscaped public domain, a car sharing scheme and active transport facilities will be complemented by health and well-being metrics through local programs and partnerships.


An integrated infrastructure solution with solar PV to reduce electricity peak demands, high efficiency centralised hot water, smart metering technology and minimised use of on-site gas have the capacity to deliver reduced utility costs to residents.


The project will also include new road intersections, local infrastructure upgrades and parking provisions, while a new bridge will connect residents with Macquarie Business Park.


As part of the project, dedicated funding generated through the redevelopment will be re-invested in social outcomes over 20 years. Mission Australia will coordinate a comprehensive suite of tailored, person-centred supports and services for social housing tenants who elect to access them.


This approach will enhance community housing tenants’ capacity to achieve safety, stability and independence through employment, helping people to progress to alternative housing options.