Urban Taskforce reveals high-rise vision for Pyrmont

This is what Pyrmont could look like in 20 years. Picture: LAVA

Sydney’s CBD should be extended into Pyrmont to shore up the city’s globally competitive position, according to developer lobby group Urban Taskforce.

The group’s CEO Chris Johnson said the regeneration of Darling Harbour, proposed 61-storey Star Casino tower and recently revealed Blackwattle Bay fish market plans indicated that the inner-city suburb had the potential to be developed into “a high rise spine to match Sydney’s CBD”.

“We see the peninsula… as being a genuine mixed use precinct with entertainment and hospitality uses as well as being a focus for IT and creative industries,” he said in a media release.

Urban Taskforce commissioned Sydney architectural firm LAVA to develop a vision for how the Pyrmont Peninsula could look over the next 20 to 40 years as the Harbour City continues to grow. The images the firm produced show transparent skyscrapers superimposed onto existing buildings, offering a glimpse of Sydney’s high-rise future, should Urban Taskforce’s call-to-arms be heeded.

“Clearly public transport will be essential for the new uses so we support the location of a station on the Metro West line as it connects to Parramatta via the Bays Precinct and Sydney Olympic Park,” Johnson added, in reference to the Western Harbour working group’s campaign for a new transport hub to built underneath the Harbourside shopping centre.

“The metro station should be located so that it serves the Star Casino and the new Fish Markets development. There is also an opportunity for more ferry connections that are turn-up-and-go between the CBD and the Pyrmont peninsula.”

Just 2km west of Sydney’s CBD, Pyrmont has recently seen significant investment from both the public and private sectors.

The NSW Government has committed $3.4 billion to an ambitious redevelopment of Darling Harbour – one that includes 26,000 square metres of commercial office space, the new $1.4 billion International Convention Centre Sydney, a new 590-room Sofitel hotel, and the six-storey circular Darling Exchange – tech giant Google has expanded its pre-existing office footprint in the area, and two new hotels are being constructed in the precinct: the Ribbon W Hotel on the site of the former Imax theatre and a Ritz-Carlton adjoining the Star casino.

According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, the incremental economic output of the new “Western Harbour” precinct, which spans Barangaroo, Darling Harbour, Pyrmont and adjacent areas, will exceed $10 billion in its first ten years. Such a contribution would see it become NSW’s second-largest economy, behind the CBD.