Parramatta Development Site Sale
Parramatta Council has agreed terms with Toplace to sell its 189 Macquarie Street car park site for $41m as the Council seeks to enforce and unravel its agreements with the troubled developer.
189 Macquarie Street, Parramatta, (also known as the Macquarie Street car park) was a Council owned site placed under the control of Toplace under a Project Delivery Agreement (PDA) for the delivery of a 715 space public car park as part of a redevelopment of the site in return for Toplace holding the rights to develop 36,000sqm of GFA across two 30 storey apartment buildings above the car park. Toplace also entered into a VPA agreement to carry out road works, streetscape works and public thoroughfare works.
Toplace, has however been in a stalemate with the City of Parramatta council over the development after Toplace dug three additional basement levels for which it did not have approval, two for car parking and a third level in which to hold a hydraulic tank for pumping out water. Toplace did have approval in late 2015, to build a 30-storey apartment block at the site, containing 425 apartments and the 715 parking spots for public use.
The unapproved works, resulted in a Land & Environment Court process in whch Toplace sought to obtain retrospective approval however in late 2017 LEC commissioner Sarah Bish refused the application by Toplace, which had shown “blatant disregard regarding compliance”. The commissioner also could not satisfy herself about the “structural integrity” of the work that had been done and ordered a halt to any construction at the site.
The Developer subsequently made an offer to enter into the draft Planning Agreement with the Council which seeks to increase the building height from 91.3m to 167m and the floor space ratio from 6.9:1 to 10:1 taking the GFA from 36,000sqm to 60,000sqm.
Works on the site recommenced in early 2019 and by May the car park was operational.
Council has subsequently confirmed that they have negotiated a new proposal in which Toplace take ownership of the site, deliver the public car park and provides the Developer with the proposed GFA and height controls.
Council has now enacted part of the agreement in transferring the site to JKN Para Pty Ltd (a company associated with Toplace) for $41m.