Westmead Shopping Village in Sydney’s west could soon be replaced with a hotel and apartment complex of up to 16 storeys as part of a $70 million redevelopment.
The mall owner, Drill Pty Ltd, which has held the site since 1985, has submitted plans with the City of Parramatta Council to redevelop the property on the corner of Railway Parade and Ashley Lane into a part four-storey, part 16-storey complex connected by an air-bridge.
The proposed development will have 97 hotel rooms across levels four to eight, and 33 residential units between levels nine and 15 of the taller block.
Communal gardens with barbecue pavilions, garden pergola spaces will form part of the residential component on level eight.
There will also be a supermarket, associated bottle shop and three retail tenancies on the upper ground floor, as well as medical and commercial space on level two spread across the shorter block. The existing Westmead Tavern business will continue to operate along with eight other food and beverage tenants set to create a dining precinct on the first floor.
Four basement levels will be able to accommodate parking for 122 vehicles and a gym.
The proposed redevelopment will bring the total gross floor area from 2115 square metres to 11,300 square metres.
Drill’s Mark Hovey, said the group’s intention was to develop and hold the asset “for decades to come”. All apartments will be released to the rental market when completed.
Mr Hovey noted that a gap in the market for hotel accommodation in Westmead, close to Westmead Hospital, was the driving factor behind introducing a hotel component in the development.
“The whole thing was precipitated by the need for hotel accommodation. Westmead is the medical centre of the area, (yet) we discovered there was no location for them (patients’ families) to stay in Westmead, only some pretty average accommodation options,” he said.
“The interest we’ve had from doctors and medical people to come into this development even though we haven’t done anything yet has been quite overwhelming.”
Mr Hovey said that that the Westmead Shopping Village site was a “one-off opportunity” to build a freestanding mixed-use project, as the properties surrounding the low-rise mall were strata-titled unit blocks.
The developer, which has been active in the western Sydney market, said while Westmead had been changing rapidly off the back of Parramatta’s growth, the Westmead Shopping Village redevelopment was the first mixed-use project in the area with a hotel component.
There was also a lack of quality food and beverage options in the Westmead area for the growing medical community, Mr Hovey said.
“If you speak to people in Westmead, there’s nowhere to eat, there’s nowhere to go,” he said.
“It’s a mixed market, there’s a huge demand out there for doctors. Westmead (Hospital) does a lot of training for overseas doctors so we think doctors and visiting doctors will be attracted to the area.”
The developer has been negotiating with two “well-known” hotel operators and a decision will be made in coming months.
Westmead has seen a rise in property development, with residential developer Deicorp going ahead with its mixed-use, 900-apartment project across four hectares, after it received second-stage approval late last year for land formerly owned by Western Sydney University.