Three 19-storey apartment towers could be built above Kogarah Town Centre and train station under plans being considered by the state government.
Giant construction company Ganellen, which holds a long-term lease on the centre and owns and leases properties within it, has proposed the massive development.
Ganellen also owns the Budget petrol station site next to the centre.
Concept plans were submitted in an unsolicited proposal to the government, which has “deemed [it to be] of sufficient interest to warrant further development and progression to a more defined project”.
The Department of Premier and Cabinet made it clear in a statement approval had not yet been given.
”Ganellen’s proposal seeks to significantly upgrade the Kogarah Station Precinct including the transport interchange and Kogarah Town Centre,” the department said.
“The development will focus on improved connectivity and access to platforms, and creation of a larger station concourse.
“The development will include additional retail space, residential accommodation (including some affordable housing) and additional car parking.”
Kogarah MP Chris Minns, who was briefed by Ganellen, said the proposal should be rejected.
“My view is that it is way too much,” he said.
“It would be a huge development for Kogarah and one of the biggest in the St George area.
”It comes on top of a massive amount of development in the Kogarah North Precinct.”
Mr Minns said he would “love to see” the centre upgraded, “but centre upgrades don’t have to be predicated on massive residential development”.
Mr Minns said he suspected Transport for NSW would be pushing the proposal because it included an upgrade of the train station without cost to the government.
“I think it’s a model they are hoping to pursue across the board,” he said.
Mr Minns said the proposal was evidence to rebut recent government rhetoric that development on such a scale was over.
“After the election in March, it would be back to business,” he said.
The statement by the Department of Premier and Cabinet said the proposal had several potential public benefits:
- “Potential to deliver better urban design, value for money and transport (commuter experience/flow/connectivity) outcomes.
- “An opportunity to incorporate underutilised Sydney Trains’ assets to deliver a transit oriented development, including much needed residential dwellings, in an area identified as a Strategic Centre by the Department of Planning and Environment in its A Plan for Growing Sydney.
- “The proposal would address some initiatives identified in the Greater Sydney Commission’s draft South District Plan, such as delivering new housing along transport corridors so that people can access employment centres.”
The statement said the benefits would need to be further quantified and compared against costs as part of a financial analysis and economic assessment.
This would be completed as part of the stage two of the assessment.
The statement said Ganellen “possesses unique property ownership that places it in a unique position to deliver the proposal and potentially deliver better urban, transport and value for money outcomes than what would otherwise be achieved”.
Ganellen would need all relevant planning and environmental approvals, and the community would have an opportunity to comment during the public exhibition stage.
A committee that will investigate the proposal further will include officials from the Department of Premier and Cabinet, Treasury and Transport for NSW.
The committee will make a recommendation to the government on whether or not to proceed to the next stage.