Wollongong CBD apartment boom now includes another commercial-residential building on Crown Lane

Evolved: An artist's impression of the building proposed for Crown Lane

Evolved: An artist's impression of the building proposed for Crown Lane

Plans for a new nine-storey apartment tower to be built on the highest point in Wollongong’s CBD show the rush for new city apartment construction is not slowing down.

The development would include 35 units on top of more than 1600 square metres of commercial space, and 68 car parking spaces below.

Proposed for vacant land at 9 Crown Lane in Wollongong, the upper storeys would command views as far as the eye could see.

It’s developer Ed Saffoury resurrecting his Evolution project, which received council approval in 2010.

High point: The view of the proposed building from Crown St near Keira St

High point: The view of the proposed building from Crown St near Keira St

But Evolution was shelved after GPT’s West Keira development (now the new Wollongong Central) got the go-ahead, with Mr Saffoury instead trying to capitalise on the city revitalisation by selling the property.

The prime site has been on the market several times but is now back in line for development by Mr Saffoury’s company Jewel of Crown Developments Pty Ltd.

The new plans are sufficiently different than those they supercede – retail space has been reduced and the building’s design has changed. So a new development application has been lodged with Wollongong City Council.

If approved, the new building would be the latest in a booming line of apartment construction in the centre of Wollongong.

It would be in addition to the $238 million worth of apartment and mixed-use buildings in the CBD under assessment through the Southern Joint Regional Planning Panel process. 

Mr Saffoury’s company bought the site from the Transport Workers Union in 2008 for $1.59 million.

It has lain empty since a brick house on the site was demolished.

The application explains the new plan would reduce the retail space to two storeys compared with the “Evolution” proposal’s four. 

“As a consequence of market investigation, it has been determined that the amount of commercial supply would be excessive and would apply further pressure on available space within the commercial centre,” it states.

Yesterday: The old brick house which was demolished

Yesterday: The old brick house which was demolished

A large rooftop common area is included, with landscaping and a pergola. The building would comply with the 32m height limit for the site, the application says.

The apartment boom is transforming Wollongong.

The $238 million worth of apartment and mixed-use buildings under assessment through the JRPP doesn't include smaller developments, or those approved, such as the $43.5 million “resort” block on Regent St which was approved in May.

If the approvals which are before the JRPP get the nod, they will add 524 apartments to the already plentiful stock in the city.

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