Car Park Options – Repair or Upgrade?

Several meeting with the broader community have been arranged for this week to discuss options for the upgrade of the Council car park in Northbridge.

The meetings provide an opportunity for both Willoughby City Council (Greg Woodhams ), and Architectus (Michael Harrison) on behalf of AMP Capital, to outline their various options and show how the Car park could be fixed as well as how it could be funded. Please note that the options presented are aimed at initiating ideas and community feedback.

Three (3) options are presented for community consideration. These options were originally presented at a Council meeting on 19th August 2013 . For ease, we have reprinted an extract of the report options as follows:

Base Car Park Upgrade Option

This option would involve funding only the upgrade of the existing car park to comply with current Australian Standards.
The option would not improve the gradient of the car park and would involve the loss of some 35 spaces.
It is anticipated that this option could cost in the order of $1.3m.
Council land along Eastern Valley Way could be sold to fund this.
A base upgrade would have to be repeated on a regular basis (every 5 years) and on that basis, may not be cost effective.

Split Level (Open Air) Option

This option could involve rebuilding the Council car park on 2 levels with one level at the Plaza pedestrian entry level then the next level stepped down for the rear northern half of the car park. The fall from Plaza level to the northern boundary is about 6 metres.

  • This option would necessitate excavation around the mid-point where the change in level occurs, provision of ramps or enclosed travelators to enable pedestrian access from one level to the other then redesigning the vehicular access so that one level is served from Harden Avenue and the other from Eastern Valley Way (The ‘step’ would be in the order of 3 metres).
  • This option would likely involve the loss of 30-50 spaces, including building the new parking areas to meet current requirements. It is anticipated that this option could cost in the order of $3 – $4m.
  • This option could address the car park slope but would be less convenient for car park users to access the separate levels.
  • No Council land would be sold so funding would be more difficult – but the design could provide for a future car park deck over the lower level to increase the number of public spaces as part of a longer term project.

Seniors Living Apartments, Residential Units and 3 level Public Car Park

This option includes:

  • A senior living development over 5 – 9 Eastern Valley Way (approximately 110 units) with basement parking – 10 storey.
  • A residential unit building over 13 – 17 Eastern Valley Way (approximately 80 units) with basement parking – 8 storey.
  • Acquisition (by the Plaza) of No. 7 and No. 15 and inclusion of the Council property at No. 13 and part of the car parking adjacent to the loading dock.
  • Construction of a 3 storey car parking facility over the existing Council car park including lifts and / or travelators for access between levels with approximately 470 spaces compared to the total existing available of 370 spaces;
  • Extension of the Plaza to add approximately 1000 sqm of floor area (Approximately 15% increase) at the northern end for additional retail, the Early Childhood Centre, a café / restaurant and north facing outdoor seating. The internal area of the Plaza would be remodelled to create an open central atrium space.
  • Modification of the access with Harden Avenue access being one way in a potential slip lane entry on Eastern Valley Way and a dedicated right turn lane from Eastern Valley Way into the car park.

The above option would cost around $12m and involve some expansion of the Plaza and sale of apartments to fund the new car park (and new early childhood centre). The buildings on Eastern Valley Way will be in the order of 9 – 10 storeys above a 4 storey podium. The development will provide additional housing choice for seniors to down size close to transport and shopping and for general residential housing to allow younger people to stay in the local area.

There are several meetings that have been scheduled for residents, businesses and the wider community to attend and have their say.