MEDIA RELEASE - November 14, 2014
More than 300 people have turned out to witness the first sod turned at Woolooware Bay, the waterfront master planned town centre and residential community by the Cronulla Sutherland Leagues Club and developer Bluestone Property Solutions.
The crowd, including apartment buyers, representatives from the local community, Sharks players and supporters, gathered to watch as a digger with a two-metre golden bucket broke ground, and Sutherland Shire Mayor Kent Johns declared construction officially underway.
Completion of the first stage of residential apartments is expected by mid-2016.
“Woolooware Bay will be the Sutherland Shire's newest waterfront town centre. Plans for the new residential estate contain pools, recreation spaces and home gardens, with the retail centre generating full time jobs and opportunities that are invaluable to this community.
“Today is a great win for the Sharks and the Shire,” he said.
Bluestone Managing Director Ben Fairfax said the event marked a great milestone for the project, which started in 2011 when the then-board of the Sharks’ Leagues Club decided to appoint a developer partner to transform their land-holding.
“We’ve been honoured and privileged to be involved in this important project for the Shire. Working with the Sharks, we’ve already created a development that responds strongly to its local community, delivering a place that will provide much-needed retail amenity, and a range of housing options,” he said.
Woolooware Bay’s first residential apartments launched to the market in January this year. Since then, more than 400 apartments have sold, with 95 per cent going to local buyers.
Damian Keogh, Chairman of the Cronulla Sutherland Leagues Club, said the development signalled a revitalized club and team environment.
"This development will help to ensure the longer term financial viability of the Sharks in the NRL. Coming off two of the most challenging years in the clubs history, we look forward to a successful future on and off the field,” he said.
“I would like to acknowledge the work of the previous Sharks Board in partnering with Bluestone. The success of the pre-sales demonstrates the quality of the development they have put together."
Aside from the residential and retail elements of the town centre project, Woolooware Bay has already formed close ties with a number of local organisations. It recently completed new playing fields at Cronulla High School and is working with Cronulla Sutherland Water Polo to deliver a new international aquatic facility.
Bluestone and Wooloware Bay are also supporting several sporting teams and individuals. These already include local Triple Jumper Tay-Leiha Clark, who recently brought home a silver medal from the World Youth Games held in China; and the Caringbah Sports Cricket Club.
Mr Fairfax said plans were underway for the project to deliver childcare facilities, a men’s shed and an inclusive playground, in addition to rehabilitated wetlands and a shared bike path and walkway linking the site to the broader Botany Bay Trail.
As the project matured, it intends to initiate a host of programs focusing on youth mentoring, traineeships, arts and community-based learning and education, he said.
“We’ve done a lot of work with the local community and can see the potential for Woolooware Bay to add significantly to the area socially and economically,” said Mr Fairfax.
The project would also mean improved roads and transport for the area, with a new shuttle operating before residents move in during 2016, and later a whole new public bus route.
Mr Fairfax said construction works on the site would start later this month, while contracts for the main infrastructure works were being finalised and would commence in the New Year.
Anchor tenants for the 17,700sqm retail centre, Bay Central, would also be announced shortly, he said.
The Woolooware Bay Community
Located on the waterfront with views reaching Botany Bay and back to the city skyline, and surrounded by playing fields and golf courses, Woolooware Bay is within a few minutes of Cronulla’s famed surfing beaches.
The masterplanned community designed by Scott Carver incorporates a rejuvenated foreshore that will connect the development’s three key elements – a residential community of around 600 apartments by leading architects Turner; the Remondis Stadium and revitalised Sharkies Club; and Bay Central, a retail precinct with the area’s first full-line supermarket, restaurants, cafes, health and medical facilities with parking for more than 700 cars.
Residents will also benefit from a wish list of communal facilities. They’ll have private use of The Pinnacle rooftop infinity pool, the rooftop Sunset Cinema, the W Club with pool, treatment rooms, gym and spa, the Deck lagoon pool, landscaped ‘home’ style gardens and access to the revitalized foreshore via ‘a walk to the beach’ style paths. Bus links to Cronulla, Caringbah and Woolooware train stations will also come into play as residents move in.
Along the foreshore, an inclusive playground created in partnership with the Touched by Olivia Foundation is planned, as are extensive cycleways and walking paths.
Ensuring Woolooware Bay becomes an integral part of the community fabric is key for Bluestone, said Bluestone Managing Director Ben Fairfax.
“We’re already in talks with local schools and many different groups on how we can work together on implementing education and training programs and support sport, art and culture. There’s a lot to do, and we’re excited about the opportunity to deliver so many community benefits in this way,” he said.
Bluestone Capital Ventures No 1 Pty Ltd (Bluestone) Bluestone has provided development expertise to private and institutional clients throughout Australia in all sectors including integrated mixed use master planned estates, residential, industrial and commercial, land subdivision and investment management. The key people within Bluestone have been involved in major redevelopment of waterfront sites including Woolloomooloo Bay Wharf, Rhodes Waterside, Balmain Cove in Sydney’s Inner West and major town centre developments such as Norwest Business Park.
Bluestone’s current portfolio of work focuses on helping clients within the clubs and community space to regenerate their assets for the future, delivering economic and social return on investment.
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