25 February, 2019: Mirvac Group (ASX:MGR) has received approval from the state’s Independent Planning Commission for its plans to revive the historic Locomotive Workshops at South Eveleigh (formerly the Australian Technology Park) at Eveleigh, Sydney.
Two separate State Significant Development Applications (SSDAs) were submitted for the sensitive conversion and adaptive re-use of the Locomotive Workshops. The approval represents an important step in delivering a vibrant new destination for Sydney with lasting positive benefits to the community.
The SSDAs were approved with the condition that Mirvac submit its heritage interpretation plan for approval prior to the first construction certificate being issued.
William Walker, Project Director at Mirvac said, “The revitalisation of the iconic Locomotive Workshops and wider South Eveleigh precinct will deliver a unique cultural and innovation hub for Sydney.
“Set to become a vibrant social and commercial destination for Sydney that invites workers, the local community, students and visitors in, Mirvac has worked with a range of expert partners, including the Heritage Council and community groups, to progress the transformation of the site.”
Mirvac placed strong emphasis on the celebration of the Locomotive Workshops’ heritage, as the historical centrepiece of the precinct. This was achieved through sensitive preservation of artefacts, restored machinery, public display areas, and the retention of the working blacksmith. Mirvac’s flexible space business Hoist will return to the Locomotive Workshops taking 3,000 square metres within the building, fostering a world class technology ecosystem at the precinct.
“For over 100 years the precinct was the engine room for Australia’s rail network, pioneering technology and advances in industry. Today we are restoring the precinct to its former status as a technology powerhouse with the Locomotive Workshops set to become a place for organisations of all shapes and sizes to find common ground to collaborate on the jobs and industries of the future,” Mr Walker said.
As a crucial piece in the wider strategic plans for the Central to Eveleigh corridor, South Eveleigh benefits from spectacular transport connections, future infrastructure plans and close proximity to the CBD making it an exceptional work and lifestyle destination.
Nick Sissons, Partner Sissons Architects and lead designer of the Locomotive Workshops, said the redevelopment presented a unique opportunity for a heritage-led design process that reveals and celebrates the old, whilst embracing the new.
“With the design philosophy firmly rooted in creating a great urban experience, the Locomotive Workshops will become a new destination for all, making a positive contribution to Sydney and its rich heritage,” he said.
The retail activation of the site will extend beyond the 9-5 working day and into the weekend, increasing public engagement through a new layer of cultural heritage initiatives and a range of artisan retail spaces.
Natalie Vinton, Director at Curio Projects, heritage consultant for the development said, “For heritage places to remain relevant, they must be adaptively reused to meet the needs of current and future users. By creating amazing cultural heritage experiences in everyday environments, we are investing in our custodians of heritage for the present and the future.
“Our aim for South Eveleigh is to create an experience where regardless of their initial reason to visit, people leave understanding a little more about the iconic site, its people and its history.”
The precinct will be home to 10,000 Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s (CBA) employees, and will have generous public and shared spaces, a community building, parks and sporting fields, and diverse retail for the community.
Construction on the Locomotive Workshops will begin in 2019 and is expected to be completed in 2020.
Led by Mirvac, a consortium including AMP Capital, Sunsuper and Centuria Property Funds, own South Eveleigh.