Unit plan to lift city’s ‘greatest eyesore’

The plan to build apartments for 100,000 people will boost values on Parramatta Road, agents say.

A proposal to build an extra 51,600 apartments along Parramatta Road will boost the value of homes in areas fronting “Sydney’s greatest eyesore”, say property experts.

“I think it will be a good thing for everyone’s values,” says Ron Gedeon, Principal of AVG Valuers.

“Even if developers exhibit a herd mentality and build all at the same time and put them on the market all at once to create an oversupply, it will soon be absorbed.

“I think, overall, that kind of plan will be a good thing.”

With such an acute shortage of homes in the inner west, this kind of ambitious plan could only lift property values, particularly in the long-term.

“Hopefully a lot more apartments being built along Parramatta Road will allow first home buyers to get back into the market too.

“Prices might flatten out at first if a lot come on to the market at once, but then they will really kick off as the area improves.”

The government property agency UrbanGrowth NSW hopes to have homes for about 100,000 extra residents built along the road, with the bulk in areas like Homebush, Strathfield, Granville and Auburn. Others will be in Camperdown, Leichhardt and Taverners Hill.

The proposals are likely to spark controversy with those councils who are resistant to increasing density – particularly since that corridor is so regularly choked with traffic – while local residents may fear a detrimental impact on their property values.

“But at the moment, parts of Parramatta Road are such an eyesore, they look like places you might see in the Third World and that’s not good for values.

“There are shops boarded up or empty or for sale, lots of dilapidated buildings … the best part of Parramatta Road at the moment is getting off of it.

“There should be a determination to take action with an holistic approach and create residential development with real amenity, to activate certain pockets of retail, allow greater setbacks, parking and parks with one consistent vision.”

“We need one central body to co-ordinate all the development along Parramatta Road, which is currently Sydney’s greatest eyesore,” he says.

“At the moment, you have the City of Sydney which has shown real foresight in dramatically increasing the allowable building ratios along its section of the road, while directly on the other side of the road, Marrickville has done the absolute opposite, and dramatically reduced them.

“If you leave it to the local councils, they can’t agree and nothing will ever get done.

“But if you allow more residential development along the road, well designed to shield residents from the noise and pollution, values in those areas will pick up and they will once again have a soul, and life will follow.”   


Sue Williams Oct 30, 2014 - SMH