Liverpool, Sydney: The coming-of-age CBD transformed

It’s had more spending on infrastructure than any other Australian city in the past 10 years, it’s experiencing record levels of development and it’s now being positioned as the gateway to the new Sydney airport.

Liverpool, in the city’s south west, is today well on the way to becoming something no one ever imagined even a decade ago – a fashionable street-smart hub of employment, new homes, technology, education, health and entertainment with some of the best transport links in the country.

“I’ve lived here for 60 years and four generations,” said Mayor Wendy Waller. “And it’s changed tremendously in that time.

“It’s now a very sophisticated society, with no fewer than three universities, the hospital, a strong innovation agenda, and a great multicultural community identity.

“We’re now Sydney’s third CBD, and the gateway to the new airport, the west and the south west.”

While Sydney’s CBD has the benefit of the harbour nearby, Liverpool even has its own burgeoning “Riviera”. There are new precincts in development on the foreshores of its Georges River, around Shepherd Street on the west bank, and two new projects coming on the eastern shores at Moorebank.

One is Mirvac’s first residential launch since Marrickville’s Marrick + Co in 2017, the 180-home Georges Cove Residences, and the second is a marina being planned close by with boat moorings, restaurants, retail and low-rise apartments above.

“It’s interesting that the water is such an essential part of Sydney living, but people here are only now understanding how much life there is in the rivers and their tributaries,” said Mirvac’s general manager of residential development for NSW Toby Long. “Maybe we should have called it Riviera!

“But it’s really important that people have good access to the foreshore rather than just via the boat ramp that’s been used for decades.

“Liverpool has changed a hell of a lot, with the council planning well into the future and a lot of effort going into making sure there’s a good balance between residents and jobs, so that there’s a real vibrancy and vitality there.”

There have been many new infrastructure projects underway in the area, like the new Liverpool campus of Western Sydney University, the $740 million upgrade of Liverpool Hospital and the coming Western Sydney International Airport at Badgerys Creek.

In addition, more knowledge-based companies and industries are now moving to the area to take advantage of the proximity to the airport.

There’s also been a raft of new housing, with the NSW Department of Planning earmarking Liverpool for 12,750 dwellings over the next five years, a 72 per cent rise on predictions of just two years ago.

New apartment buildings include Liverpool Central, two high-rise towers close to Liverpool Station designed by award-winning architects ROTHELOWMAN, The Foundry and The Paper Mill, while Mirvac’s new masterplanned community Brighton Lakes last year won an Urban Development Institute of Australia residential development award.

“The landscape of Liverpool has changed dramatically and the beauty of it is now we have a huge diversity of housing, from entry-level homes, apartments, townhouses, medium-density, high-density, lifestyle acreage …” said Glen Craigie, principal of McGrath Real Estate Liverpool.

“We’re now attracting a lot of people from outside the area, including first-home buyers and investors, and Liverpool is certainly now shaping up as Sydney’s third city.”

The latest development, Georges Cove Residences, with a mix of terrace and free-standing homes now awaiting council approval for their designs, already looks to be in huge demand.

There have been over 1000 expressions of interest received for the 180 dwellings off the plan, with pricing starting in the high $700,000s for a three-bedroom attached home, qualifying it for first home-owner stamp duty savings.

Mirvac is now having to consider a lottery to allocate opportunities to buy. “We don’t know how we’ll do it yet,” said Long. “We can’t predict what’s going to happen because we are in very strange times.

“We’ll continue to monitor and see how we go as this will be the first release in the area since COVID. But it’s really terrific to see so much pent-up demand and we’re feeling confident.”

Meanwhile, Liverpool is powering ahead with a number of projects, including a massive new freight terminal, the rezoning of 25 hectares in the heart of the city, the Western Sydney Aerotropolis pushing the innovation agenda, new masterplanning and public domain beautification projects.

“Liverpool is really coming of age,” said Greg Andison, manager of real estate agency Century 21 Combined Liverpool.

“It’s been a long time coming, but it’s now going well with so much spending on infrastructure, employment opportunities, the new airport and business.

“The geographical centre of Sydney has gradually been moving west over the past 10 to 15 years and now Liverpool is in the middle of it all.”

Source domain Sue Williams 12 September 2020

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