Sydney's largest redevelopment since the Olympics will see prime harbour real estate four times the size of Barangaroo opened up to developers as part of a new state government plan.
International architects and planners will be invited to Sydney in November to come up with a new blueprint to redevelop the The Bays Precinct, including the Sydney Fish Market and Rozelle Bay.
Premier Mike Baird described the area, which also includes Glebe’s Blackwattle Bay, as an “urban wasteland”.
“It’s time we turned some magic into this space,” he said at White Bay waterfront.
“It’s time we did something that transforms it and aligns it with what is the greatest harbour in the world in the greatest city in the world.”
Planning Minister Pru Goward said the 80 hectare area, which is four times the size of Barangaroo, represented one of the world’s biggest urban renewal projects.
The program will run over 30 years but the government says some of the housing and recreational buildings might be completed within five to 10 years.
The area would include new housing, areas for recreation, shops and offices.
But unlike the multi-billion dollar Barangaroo development in Sydney’s CBD, Mr Baird said the Bays Plan will not have a casino.
“It’s about time that we had a fish market that Sydney can be proud of,” he said.
“(It) is a terrible blight.”
The decision is likely to meet opposition from local residents.
John Brooks, convenor of the Blackwattle Cove Coalition, says he is concerned the community will be left out of the planning.
“My concern is if you do this with overseas designers you would want to make sure their brief is an accurate brief,” he said.
“Don’t say `this is a big bit of water, what would you like to do with it?
“That brief needs to be a public document.”
Another community group, the Glebe Society, has in the past pledged to oppose unsolicited development in the area.
“We do not want to see another Barangaroo in Blackwattle Bay … on Glebe Island,” the group says on its website.