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08 October 2013 Posted by 

Council moves on from Civic Place debacle

By Red Dwyer
PARRAMATTA City Council is on the move from the debacle of its $1.6 billion Civic Place project with approval for the first of a six-stage redevelopment of a 3-hectare prime site in the CBD.
Council has renamed site, Parramatta Square, surrounding the historic town hall, and upped the ante to $2 billion. 
The first stage will be the demolition of the council-owned 7-storey Macquarie House, on the corner of Macquarie and Smith streets, later this year.
Leighton Properties, which has developed three other commercial properties in the CBD, won the right to redevelop Macquarie House, in July, for a 14-storey, 25,000-square-metre office tower, estimated to be worth $200 million upon completion in late 2015 
"We are currently in the process of pre-leasing the office space and are experiencing very strong interest,” said Mark Gray, MD, of Leighton Properties
The DA for stage 2, a 90-storey mixed-use tower on the corner of Church and Darcy streets, the former Hungry Jack’s site, is awaiting approval, which is expected later this year. 
Also, this year, approval is expected for stage 3, the Alfasi Property Developments’ redevelopment of the Australia Post building in Macquarie Street, into a 16-level, 22,000 square-metre commercial tower.  A separate podium building of 7000 square metres, at the rear of the tower, will be developed by council for its new civic building and library.
Council said the design excellence competition would commence later this year for stage 4, a low-rise retail and commercial building behind the town hall.
In the meantime, council has jumped ahead and approved a design competition be conducted prior to December this year, for stages 5 and 6 which are towers on Darcy Street, providing approximately 100,000 square metres of commercial space.
Parramatta Square, opposite the Parramatta Transport Interchange and bounded by Church, Macquarie, Smith and Darcy streets, is expected to accommodate up to 13,000 workers when completed.
Council owns over eight hectares of development sites, including Parramatta Square, in the CBD, representing over 500,000 square metres of potential floor space.

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