6 August 2014 — [Updated 7 August]: UrbanGrowth NSW has sold several development sites adjacent to Penrith Station to construction firm St Hilliers Group and commercial developer First Point Projects, which the pair plans to turn into medium-density residential apartments, and retail and commercial space.
The development sites located in Thornton, North Penrith, are expected to deliver around 450 medium-density residential apartments and 5500 square metres of retail and commercial space.
Medium- and high-density development is somewhat of a first for Penrith, with the project part of UrbanGrowth’s masterplanned Thornton community, which aims to address a gap in the delivery of quality housing on smaller lots, and to provide amenity reflecting what is available in inner-city locations while maintaining affordability.
“Residential apartment living in Penrith’s city centre is unprecedented but we believe the market is ready for this type of housing product and amenity, in this location,” St Hilliers executive chairman Tim Casey said.
“We aim to deliver an outstanding lifestyle precinct in the heart of Penrith which features high quality residential living and a retail precinct.
“It will offer choice, character and convenience for residents and for those who live and work in the Penrith area. It is a hub of inner city living, brimming with excitement and great places to eat and shop, all located within one of Western Sydney’s growth areas.”
The residential component will include ten medium-density residential apartment buildings each between three and eight storeys high, with the opportunity for taller buildings in “key locations” still on the cards.
A spokeswoman for the Thornton development said sustainability initiatives were to be included, including the possibility of solar photovoltaics for common areas and screened drying areas on balconies to reduce the use of clothes dryers.
She did not indicate whether high NatHERS standards were being targeted in the residential developments or whether sustainability or community rating tools would be applied precinct-wide, however said that final design details had not been set.
The retail and commercial centre will be adjacent to Penrith Station and the North Penrith commuter carpark and will include a 2500 sq m supermarket and up to 3000 sq m of shops and other commercial facilities including restaurants, a medical centre, gym and childcare.
Planning Minister Pru Goward said the development was a good example of government working with the private sector to deliver homes that were near job centres and transport.
“Thornton demonstrates smarter planning, with homes, jobs and new public spaces all in the one place,” Ms Goward said.