The site is on the edge of the Penrith CBD core adjacent to the only eastern vehicular link over the rail line to the Penrith CBD. It is identified as a “gateway” site; however, its buildings are currently underutilised or vacant. One of the buildings is a heritage-listed school built in 1805 and home to the first public school in Penrith, giving a rich history and identity for the site.
Dickson Rothschild considered the historical value of the school building and its contextual relationship with the growing surrounds when preparing the Masterplan, Urban Design Statement and Planning Proposal to reconsider the zoning, height and FSR of the site. Plans were prepared to demonstrate how the site could be re-adapted to become a vibrant mixed-use hub of research & education buildings, museum and cultural venues, commercial offices, a hotel, retail, community service use and housing while retaining the important heritage background. At the same time flexibility was proposed so the site could respond to the changing demands and market realities into the future.
The development substantially raised the level of activity, vibrancy and passive surveillance in the area and it supports Penrith’s vision for a night-time economy. Local amenity for residents and visitors were considered by enhancing the public domain and landscape setting.