Supermarket giant Woolworths is stepping up its push into mixed-use projects which capitalise on the prime locations of many supermarkets for luxury residential projects.
The company’s development subsidiary, Fabcot Pty Ltd, has proposed plans to redevelop Neutral Bay Woolworths in the leafy Sydney suburb into a retail and residential complex.
While Fabcot traditionally develops and manages shopping centres, the plans in Rangers Road involve three separate buildings, 91 units, a rooftop garden and a swimming pool above the supermarket.
Woolworths general manager property development Andrew Loveday said “our aim is to create great shopping experiences for local residents where shopping is convenient, quick and enjoyable, parking is easy and centre amenity is high”.
“Availability of well-located sites will continue to be the key focus as populations densify,” he said.
“In this environment we may look to mixed-use development outcomes to service our customers.”
Fabcot Pty Ltd has a growing portfolio of residential properties built around supermarkets.
These include residential developments planned in Waterloo and Ramsgate, showing it is committed to expanding its mixed-use operations.
At Ramsgate, Woolworths put forward a proposal with developer Time and Place in which 170 apartments would be built across three towers above a Woolworths supermarket.
In Waterloo, the company commissioned architects Bates Smart on a $200m project, called Bourke & Young, which it said would become “a high-quality retail, commercial, and residential development with innovation, sustainability and community at its heart”.
Similar developments had been planned in Glen Iris and Elsternwick in Melbourne, but both were blocked by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
The Glen Iris development, also in partnership with Time and Place, was planned as a six-storey, 80-apartment complex set to cost $61m.
Following more than 100 objections from locals and a 12-day hearing, the proposal was rejected last month amid concerns it would increase congestion in the area.
In Elsternwick, a plan to build two apartment towers and a Woolworths supermarket above a heritage-listed former fire station have been rejected twice by local councillors.
There are concerns the development in Neutral Bay could be met with objections, as North Sydney council continues to debate planning restrictions in the area. The council had planned to raise high-rise building limits to 12 storeys in the area, as part of a project to revitalise the Military Road precinct, but the plans were rejected after only 12 per cent of residents supported them.
This decision is not set to directly affect the Neutral Bay development, as the tallest of the three towers is 10 storeys, but there are concerns it reflects a shift in locals’ attitudes.
Extracted from The Australian