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CBD must go west to diversify and grow Sydney’s economy

Written by City Reporter

CBD must go west to diversify and grow Sydney’s economy

The Sydney Business Chamber says growth and advancement of the Pyrmont peninsula is critical to the economic and cultural future of our city, as Sydney’s CBD is constrained and its economic potential held back by a shortage of suitable space for commercial, arts and entertainment, dining and residential.

“The NSW Government is reassessing the governance and future planning of the Pyrmont peninsula and many of the current land use conflicts can be resolved by establishing a common vision for the future of the precinct in collaboration between Sydney City, local businesses and landowners,” said Katherine O’Regan, Executive Director of Sydney Business Chamber.

“Sydney’s CBD is the economic powerhouse of our national economy and leading generator of employment, but for this to continue post-Covid it needs to expand westward to diversify and grow. Sydney’s CBD should be expanded to encompass the neighbouring precincts immediately adjacent to it, especially Pyrmont/Ultimo.”

“As outlined in our recent submission to the Department of Planning’s Pyrmont Place Strategy,  the CBD has the highest commercial rents in Australia and some of the highest in the world and this is a serious drag on our urban productivity and a barrier to both new business formation and job generation, impeding much needed growth and investment in Sydney.”

“The impact of the Coronavirus on the economic health of the City and lives and livelihoods of its citizens heightens the importance of the development of the Pyrmont precinct as a place for economic and cultural prosperity. The jobs that the precinct could generate, opportunities for enhancement of arts, entertainment and dining it can provide and the ability of the precinct to integrate a mix of housing, makes it a critical component of building back better.”

“This must be supported by better transport connectivity including a Metro West stop at Pyrmont, the new Fish Market ferry wharf and increased pedestrian and cycle ways.  Reducing traffic congestion will make Pyrmont more attractive for locals and tourists.“

“Replicating Sydney City Council’s planning controls for the CBD into Pyrmont would identify areas that support greater height limits and intensification of development, while providing incentives ensuring design excellence.”

“Extending this methodology into Pyrmont/Ultimo would lead to a more flexible, performance based zoning of the precinct allowing the western harbour to develop and facilitate investment for the jobs of the future. It will encourage a growing role for new and emerging innovation companies, with greater emphasis on performing arts and creative sectors, as well as an expanded visitor economy.”

“The precinct has several venues including the Wharf, Ros Packer, Capitol, Lyric, First State Super, and Darling Harbour theatres. Linking these venues offers the opportunity to develop a coherent and functional theatre and live performance district that Sydney has long lacked. It will help create a better night-time economy built around live performance and the creative industries, enhancing economic and cultural value.”

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