Thursday, June 13, 2024

Owners Plot $320m Revamp of Eastwood Shopping Centre

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The owners of 1970s-era shopping centre in Sydney’s north-west have filed a $322-million plan for a major residential redevelopment of the site.

The “tired” Eastwood Shopping Centre on Wallumedegal Country at 152-190 Rowe and 3-5 Rutledge streets would be demolished to make way for a new mixed-use development under the scheme.

The plans filed this week with the City of Ryde council would offer commercial and retail premises as well as offices, and 441 residential apartments. 

Designed by AJC Architects, the project would create 21,697sq m of commercial floor space across three levels, 43,979sq m of residential space, and 3212sq m of shared community space. 

The 1.2ha site currently has 12,500sq m of retail including a Woolworths supermarket and 2400sq m of office space.

There would be a mix of one to four-bedroom apartments, and five affordable units as part of a previous planning agreement between the former owners and the council. That agreement also detailed an enhanced public domain and upgrade of the Rowe Street Mall.

Commercial tenancies would consist of 22 restaurants, 42 retail tenancies and two supermarkets. 

The Eastwood Shopping Centre was subject to a previous development application from 2016 that would have delivered 409 apartments across seven buildings up to 13 storeys.

The latest development application reduces the number of buildings to four and redistributes them across an amalgamates site, which “will result in a more variegated form”.

The applicant for the current development, Eastwood Centre Pty Ltd, is associated with Tang Yuxiang, Suying Wang and Xue Kang.

According to its website, Eastwood is owned and managed by Henbon Australia, the Australian business branch of Henbon Tianfu Group, that was founded in 2011 and involved in  “real estate development, energy retail operation, hotel investment and operation, strata management, commercial operation, financial investment, cultural and educational sectors” .

According to media reports in 2021, the Eastwood Centre was sold for $155 million in 2021 by Chinese businessman Huang Xiangmo, whose Yuhu Group had originally planned to demolish and redevelop the centre. 

Documents released in the planning phases of the Yuhu project, however, highlighted political donations made by Huang’s companies, predominantly to the Liberal and National parties, and the businessman was implicated in corruption watchdog investigations of the then-Ryde mayor Jerome Laxale.

Eastwood is the third-largest centre in the City of Ryde LGA and an established multicultural centre, according to the development application, with representation from the Chinese and Korean communities in particular. 

Despite this, as of 2016, Eastwood has the lowest number of residential homes in any of the LGA’s centres, the applicant Eastwood Centres said. 

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