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Development Opportunities – Proposed Redevelopment of the Egans Lane Precinct – Nowra CBD

Background

Shoalhaven City Council (Council) is currently working to revitalise Nowra’s CBD – our economic heart and centre for business, jobs, investment, tourism, and community activity. As part of this initiative, Council has identified a number of precincts to act as catalyst projects for the revitalisation and continued growth of Nowra CBD as a regional centre.

The Egans Lane Precinct (precinct) has been identified as one of these catalyst projects. The car park site within the precinct is ideal for redevelopment because it is highly accessible, located in the heart of Nowra CBD, and is able to be redeveloped whilst maintaining the car park capacity.

In August 2013, Council engaged independent property advisory services firm CBRE, to review Council’s plans for the Precinct and undertake a market assessment and feasibility analysis of potential uses. This work identified retail as the most appropriate opportunity for the site based on Council’s revitalisation objectives. Expressions of Interest in respect to the redevelopment of the Egans Lane Precinct were called for between the period 7 November 2014 to 14 February 2015.

In February 2016 Council resolved to “..End the Competitive Bid Process so as to leave Council free to negotiate with Derbury or any other interested parties” (MIN16.128).

An aerial view and a proposed concept of the Egans Lane Precinct is shown below.

Aerial view of the area. (Google Maps) 

Egans Lane Precinct

Egans Lane Precinct Information

  • Existing Use - Car park (255 spaces), Library, Arts Centre, retail and commercial units
  • Land-use zoning - Business B3 - Commercial Core and Business B4 - Mixed Use - allows for mixed use development.
  • Concept Developable area - Egans Lane car park

Egans Lane Precinct - Nowra CBD, the proposed retail redevelopment concept, is a critical initiative for Council in its revitalisation plans for Nowra CBD, as the principal regional centre in the Shoalhaven. This initiative aims to reinvigorate economic growth and use of the town centre to balance the services within the overall regional centre, with improved retail amenity and civic spaces for the community / public.

Nowra CBD is aligned with the principles of Council’s draft Nowra CBD Urban Design Master Plan, released in May 2013. The redevelopment initiative also supports Objective 2.5 of Council’s Community Strategic Plan for ‘Major town centres that are attractive, vibrant and popular destinations.’

Nowra CBD concept will diversify the services within the CBD, designate public places and provide amenities at street level and on-top of the new retail centre, thereby capitalising on the views.

Concept
The concept of Egans Lane Precinct - Nowra CBD is to create an integrated new retail offering, linked to the existing retail businesses and public places.


A Proposed Concept for the Redevelopment of the Egans Lane Precinct

The redevelopment concept includes space for:

  • A ‘full-line’ supermarket or superstore supplemented by a small number of complementary speciality / commercial shops
  • Additional structured car spaces for the new retail centre and existing retail businesses
  • Supporting the creation of new public / civic spaces, including a substantial roof-top garden/ function area and lookout of the surrounding environment.
  • It is proposed that the main entry to the development will be from Egans Lane.

Public-Private Partnership Guidelines

All negotiations will be considered under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) framework. This is due to the potential significant cost to develop the concept, the need for Council to be transparent about how it is going to proceed with the development and the fact that the development will be on Council-owned land.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Council proposing to redevelop the Egans Lane Precinct?
The redevelopment, Egans Lane Precinct - Nowra CBD, is part of Council’s long established direction for Nowra to promote revitalisation and continued growth of Nowra CBD as a regional centre. The Egans Lane Precinct was identified as one of a number of precincts to act as a catalyst for private sector investment and to encourage overall revitalisation of the town centre. In August 2013, independent property advisory services firm CBRE identified retail uses as the most appropriate for the site based on Council’s objectives. From this, Council developed a retail concept for the site to allow it to consult with stakeholders and the local community.

What is going to be included in Egans Lane Precinct - Nowra CBD?
The redevelopment concept includes space for:

  • A ‘full-line’ supermarket or superstore supplemented by a small number of complementary speciality / commercial shops
  • Additional structured car spaces for the new retail centre and existing retail businesses
  • Supporting the creation of new public / civic spaces, including a substantial roof-top garden / function area and lookout of the surrounding environment.

How will the development impact local businesses?
Egans Lane Precinct - Nowra CBD is expected to benefit local businesses by encouraging more activity within the town centre. A new and relevant retail centre with attractive public spaces will help cement Nowra CBD as a popular visitor destination.

How will the redevelopment be funded?
Private sector investment will be required to fund the redevelopment. Council may be required to provide some equity or contribution in a Public Private Partnership arrangement.

Will I need to pay higher rates?
Rates are not expected to be impacted by the redevelopment.

Have other precincts been considered for development / redevelopment?
As part of Council’s city building objective a number of sites have been identified for redevelopment to encourage further investment and growth in Nowra and the Shoalhaven. Council advertised for requests for proposals over a number of sites in Nowra CBD in early 2012. The outcome of this process indicated that the Egans Lane Precinct generated most interest.

Will the redevelopment impact on the Library and Arts Centre?
At this stage the Egans Lane Precinct - Nowra CBD concept only includes redevelopment of the car park. If the private sector proposes that the development include adjacent Council land, such as the Library and Arts Centre, further community consultation will be undertaken. Should the final approved development include the site of the Library and Arts Centre the private sector will need to redevelop these facilities– either onsite or at a suitable location within the town centre.

Will parking in the precinct still be free?
Adequate time periods of free parking will be allowed for visitor / shopper convenience. It is envisaged there will be no change to Council’s current policy.

How high will the development be?
The current concept incorporates a one-level retail centre at the same grade as the Junction St and Kinghorne St main strip retail, with the potential for a roof-top car park and visitor lookout. As such, the building height is not expected to be materially different from the adjacent buildings.

What is the redevelopment process?

The anticipated process for the redevelopment is:

  • Invite Expressions of Interest to redevelop the Precinct from private sector developers

  • Appoint contractor and gain approval to proceed with Public Private Partnership

  • Redevelopment planning and design, including further community consultation

  • Drafting and submission of detailed planning application for the redevelopment, including public exhibition

  • Construction and retail fit-out

  • The new centre opens.

What stores will be included in Egans Lane Precinct - Nowra CBD?
Egans Lane Precinct - Nowra CBD has been proposed at this stage for a ‘full-line’ supermarket/superstore with a small number of complementary retail / commercial outlets. This mix of retail uses could be revised moderately as more detailed planning work is undertaken and private sector investment is sought.

How do we know the redevelopment will occur?
Council is dedicated to creating the community vision for a more attractive and vibrant town centre. At this stage Central Nowra is only a concept. Should the redevelopment receive sufficient community support, gain private sector investment and meet Office of Local Government Guidelines, it will proceed to design and construction.