Planning proposals set to reshape the Waitara Enterprise Corridor

Property owners are looking to increase building heights and density to meet unprecedented market demand for high quality apartments.

The continued demand for residential apartments, supported by increases in the value of properties with development upside, has seen property owners within the Waitara Enterprise Corridor seeking to increase the number of apartments developed on their land.

The Waitara Enterprise Corridor runs between Pacific Highway and the North Shore train line, starting at the intersection of the two and continuing east to the junction with Carden Avenue Waitara, the site of Phil McCarroll Toyota. Consisting of predominantly industrial, retail and a multitude of car dealerships, the precinct benefits from close proximity to both Hornsby transport interchange and Waitara railway station as well as Hornsby Westfield Shopping Centre.

Zoned B6 Enterprise Corridor under Hornsby Shire Council, a zoning designed to promote a range of employment uses while allowing for residential if part of a mixed use development. Current planning controls restrict development in the Waitara Enterprise Corridor to a maximum of two storeys which many property owners and developers view as overly restrictive considering that the adjoining precinct allows for developments up to 11 storeys.

With the development value of permissible floor space at over $2,000/sqm, many owners within the precinct have taken a proactive approach to increasing the potential development yield of their land by preparing and lodging planning proposals to substantially increase their permissible height and density. An example is the planning proposal that has been lodged for the Hornsby Mazda Site at 64-72 Pacific Highway, which seeks to increase permissible height to allow for an 18 storey development while increasing density to allow for over 28,700sqm of floor space.

Waitara Enterprise Corridor

Another site which is likely to see an application for increased height and density is 8-12 Leonard Street & 5-9 James Street, a substantial 3,110sqm site which has recently been placed on the market by private owners looking to secure a sale to a development group. Initial planning advice has indicated that the site could suit a development of up to 11 storeys with circa 150 apartments plus ground floor employment uses subject to approval of a planning proposal. The selling agent, Corey Beauchamp of Colliers International, is confident that the site will attract strong interest from both local, interstate and offshore development groups who will look to capitalise on the site’s key benefits.

“The Leonard & James site benefits from a corner position, North East frontages and close proximity to a range of transport options. Given the position of the site in context to adjoining properties and surrounding development, there is real scope to increase the residential component of a proposed development whilst retaining the vital employment uses of the land”.

Mr Beauchamp believes that increasing the scale of the residential component will make the site more likely to be bought and developed. “With unprecedented demand for residential apartments in major centres such as Hornsby, values of apartments have risen and there is a genuine demand for more stock to be added to the market”.

This increase in demand has been demonstrated by the success of Park Rise Apartments in Waitara, a 295 apartment development by Winten Property Group where 75% of units were sold in only 6 hours by the Colliers International Residential team.

With strong demand expected through 2016, the trend of property owners looking to capitalise on current market conditions is expected to continue.

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