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Artist impression of a redeveloped Castle Towers. Artist impression of a redeveloped Castle Towers. Featured
20 December 2017 Posted by 

DISRUPTION AND BOOM IN HILLS

New era with revamped Towers
LIANA STILLITANO
THE Hills Shire is tackling the onset of a fast approaching population boom and increasing infrastructure disruption – yet the region has a spring in its step.
“The mood is very vibrant,” said Sydney Hills Business Chamber chairman Anthony Moss.
 
A mix of residential and commercial development coupled with the mammoth Sydney Metro North West railway line meant the region was facing “a very buoyant economy at the moment”, he said.
 
And it seems that confidence is contagious according to a recent poll that asked more than 170 local businesses to rate the region’s performance, conditions and future sentiment.
 
The latter, Mr Moss said, had consistently rated high in the last three The Hills Performance and Sentiment Index reports carried out by the Chamber and McCrindle Research.
 
“It is a predictor of the next six months and always when we carry out this research program, sentiment is extremely positive,” he said.
 
So, what is fuelling that optimism? 
 
“The physical expression of that is the rail link and the associated development around it,” Mr Moss said. “It brings lots of people into the region from construction workers to designers. That brings in a chunk of income.”
 
To understand the scale of growth the North West is facing, imagine taking the population of Canberra, doubling it and placing it in the heart of the Hills district.
 
“The Hills will be home to more than 600,000 people in the coming decades,” Premier Gladys Berejiklian said. “Greater Western Sydney is experiencing an unparalleled period of revitalisation and growth, and the Hills District is right at the centre.”
 
The local shopping district is also growing to meet the demand of the burgeoning population.
 
QIC Global Real Estate is investing $1B to redevelop Castle Towers “into a world-class urban centre”, increasing in size by up to 80,000 square metres.
 
Billed as North-West Sydney’s “new lifestyle and retail destination”, the revamped centre will meet the “needs of the diverse and ever-evolving community,” said centre manager, Martin Ollis.
 
Which is why the new centre will connect to one of the new metro stations.
 
“We will extend the existing Level One Mall to connect with a planned underground station walkway leading directly into the Metro station concourse,” Mr Ollis said.
“Castle Towers will be the thriving heart of the Hills community.”
 
With growth comes challenges and there have been some grumblings from the business community, Mr Moss said.
 
“The construction phase of the rail link has been challenging for businesses with traffic snarls through the region which has an impact and they’re rightly concerned but they’re also chomping at the bit to make sure it happens,” he said.
 
“I personally think population growth is positive for our region because it supports business.
 
“There has always been an entrepreneurial spirit in the Hills. It is a relatively affluent area, a relatively highly educated area; it’s fertile ground.
 
“With all these development opportunities, the council is mindful of ensuring the culture of the Hills as a place for families to live, work and play is maintained.”


editor

Publisher and editor, Michael Walls.
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