Parramatta auto alley gets new life as $225m mixed precinct

Parramatta is throwing down the gauntlet to the rest of Sydney after the green light was given to a $225 million mixed-use project to revamp the rundown former Auto Alley in Church Street.


It is part of the $876 million South Quarter development by the Dyldam??? group which will add to the $6 billion-plus transformation of the Parramatta CBD.

Developer Dyldam bought the former Heartland Holden car yard site from the Turner family for $150 million in 2015 and the City West Joint Regional Planning Panel Parramatta approved the masterplan in 2016, with the development expected to coincide with the widening of Church Street, featuring new cycle lanes and tree planting.

It will be the amalgamation of three separate sites, 57, 63 and 83 Church Street to create the new southern gateway to Parramatta, comprising five residential and commercial buildings, featuring an international branded hotel and community park with artworks.

Designed by architects Allen Jack + Cottier, Turner and Oculus, the development is expected to activate the southern side of Parramatta City, an area often overlooked as the construction boom takes place in the centre of the city. There are 15 cranes on Parramatta’s skyline, according to the latest Rider Levett Bucknall??? crane index, compared to 13 in the commercial sector of central Sydney.

GPT recently unveiled a $230 million office tower. Charter Hall, Walker Corporation and the Scentre??? Group are also developing new towers in the area for tenants including KPMG, Western Sydney University and government departments.

In the latest office market report from the Property Council of Australia, for the first six months of 2017, there was a zero vacancy rate for A Grade office space in Parramatta and that the total vacancy rate for office space was 4.3 per cent. This compares to the 5.9 per cent vacancy rate in the Sydney CBD.

Fayad Fayad, chief operating officer of Dyldam, said there is strong interest from commercial tenants in the private and public sector “as we have state of the art office accommodation, a range of bars and restaurants, as well as retailers, including fresh grocers”.

“We expect to soon announce a major hotel chain will manage the hotel on site, located a short walk from the major transport links of Parramatta”, Mr Fayad said.

Given the demand for office space, Dyldam and GPT are building the properties without having locked in an anchor tenant.

According to Savills, to date the NSW government has pre-committed to more than 87,000 sq m of space with more than 5800 department jobs expected to move from the CBD. Pre-committing to 4 Parramatta Square, being developed by Walker Corporation, are the Department of Planning and Environment, the Office of Environment and Heritage, the Environment Protection Authority and the Department of Finance, Services and Innovation. The move is set to occur in the first half of 2019.

Other commitments include the Department of Education at the Dexus development at 105 Phillip Street, for 25,500 sq m of A-grade office space, which is expected be delivered early next year.

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