GALLERY: Is this Wollongong's future skyline?

Newly revealed images of GPT’s West Keira development showing office blocks and a residential tower on top of the six-storey retail complex show its possible future.

The images show structures on top of West Keira, at Keira Street and Crown Lane and also a rooftop green space and shared meeting area. 

The images were included by Wollongong City Council as part of a proposal to allow alfresco dining in Keira Street outside the GPT development, which goes before councillors on Monday.

POLL: Should alfresco dining be introduced to Keira Street?

GPT development marketing manager Ben Hughes said he wasn’t aware why council had included the images in the business paper but added that the new buildings shown were created by an artist and didn’t reflect any design plans of GPT.

‘‘We haven’t committed to any of those spaces or buildings at the moment,’’ Mr Hughes said.

However,  he said it had always been part of the plan to consider further roof-top development.

‘‘Absolutely and we have discussed that before,’’ he said.

‘‘We’re certainly looking at opportunities for what we can do with the space on top and what that might entail.

‘‘But we’re certainly not at a stage where we’re proceeding down that path at the moment.

  ‘‘It might pop up next year in terms of us putting more detailed concepts and plans forward but in terms of making a commitment and an announcement there’s nothing happening in the short term.’’

What is happening in the short term is building alterations to allow for work to be done on the rooftop, to allow it to take the load of any possible development.

‘‘What we are looking at lodging [is] a modification to allow us to prepare the rooftop for any future development, but we haven’t lodged that yet with council,’’ he said.

Mr Hughes said this would avoid the need to disrupt the site in several years’ time, should further development proceed.

He said the plan for the rooftop was ‘‘a mixed-use development’’.

‘‘So it could be more retail, it could be commercial, it could be some form of accommodation.

‘‘There is obviously some need in the city centre for good-quality office space.

‘‘So there are a number of options that we’ve been looking at over the past couple of  years and will continue to look at to make sure that if we do do a mixed-use development on top that it meets the needs of the city.’’

Early plans for a second stage of West Keira announced last year included accommodation for 300 University of Wollongong students, but this has yet to be approved by GPT’s board.

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