You are here: Home / Media / Blowing Waterloo's stack for green square

Blowing Waterloo's stack for green square

WORK on the much-vaunted $1.7 billion Green Square town centre, first mooted in the early 1990s by the Keating government, has finally begun with the demolition of the former Waterloo Incinerator at Zetland reports Wendy Frew the SMH’s Urban Affairs Editor on 1 January 2008.

Workmen have begun pulling down the main building and a 200-tonne crane will arrive soon to knock down the chimney stack, in the first step towards creating a civic square as big as Martin Place, bordered with supermarkets and shops.

Situated at the intersection of Botany Road, and O'Riordan and Bourke streets, the town centre - now just a bunch of car yards and industrial buildings - will service a number of apartment developments that have sprung up around the Green Square railway station.

The project, a joint venture between the City of Sydney and Landcom, is part of 278 hectares of land earmarked by the NSW Government for urban renewal, one of the largest such projects in Australia and the last area close to the city suitable for expansion.

Along with Zetland, Beaconsfield and parts of Alexandria, Rosebery and Waterloo have been targeted for high-density developments that will house more than 33,000 people by 2021.

Landcom's shortlist of six companies and consortiums to complete the first stage of the town centre comprises Lend Lease, Citta/Babcock & Brown, CRI/Colonial First State, Mirvac, ISPT and Leighton Properties/Devine, said the NSW Planning Minister, Frank Sartor.

Stage one, or about 50 per cent of the total gross floor area of the town centre, will include a mix of residential, retail and commercial space.

"When completed, the Green Square town centre project will provide 2500 homes located close to existing transport infrastructure and $3.2 billion worth of investment," Mr Sartor said.

Green Square has a long industrial history but as the factories moved west, developers moved in, hoping the train and bus services and the proximity to the city centre and eastern suburbs would attract well-heeled tenants to their expensive apartments.

The area still lacks its own shopping district and community facilities and has been called a ghost town by some.

However, by 2025, the town centre is expected to house about 5500 residents and 7000 workers.

It will also have a network of plazas and parks, decorated with water features and public art, that will be able to host markets, concerts and festivals.

It will take about six months to demolish the main incinerator building, the chimney stack, a number of underground pits and all other associated plant, equipment and structures, Landcom says.

The development is close to Green Square station, part of the controversial 10-kilometre Airport Rail Link of four privately owned stations, where fares are considerably more expensive than for government-run lines.

Photo: How it will look ... an artist's impression of how the Green Square town centre will look after the $1.7 billion redevelopment. It will be as big as Martin Place.