The former Dapto Public School site, which has sat unused for the past 13 years, will be turned into a $49 million village according to new plans.
Under a new concept plan recently lodged with Wollongong City Council for the long-vacant site, developers hope to build 159 new homes.
The new Byamee Street residences would be built across four blocks of four-six storeys as well as 32 townhouses on the site, which would be landscaped with open space and provide parking for 152 resident’s cars
The almost 20,000 square metre former Department of Education site, between Dapto Showground and Dapto Mall, has been awaiting development for years.
Dapto Public School moved off the land and into a new space at Hosley in 2004.
A year later the council approved demolition of the old school buildings, and the site was sold to the Illawarra Community Housing Trust in 2009.
In 2010, a $25 million housing trust development for 108 affordable rental flats across three buildings was approved by the Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP).
This development, funded through a federal government rental affordability scheme at the time, was slated to be part of the solution to the Illawarra’s housing affordability crisis.
However, after this approval the trust sought alternatives for the redevelopment of the site. According to the new plans, this was “to increase the housing supply and improve the urban design, environmental sustainability and social contribution of the site”.
Seven years on, the new concept plan – which will also be considered by the JRPP due to its high capital investment value –seeks to includes more open space, graduated building heights rather than one dense block and more housing diversity on the land.
The developers have indicated there would be 53 one-bedroom, 83 two-bedroom, 20 three-bedroom apartments, with one of the four future apartment blocks to provide seniors living accommodation.
In their plans, which are on public exhibition through the council’s website until February 20, developers said the new village would “generate a high level of visual interest with modulation to the skyline and meets the various housing needs of the community”.
“The proposal ... will promote ongoing local economic growth by providing an increased residential population which will contribute to the economic success of surrounding retail and business activities,” the plans said. “Further, the redevelopment of the site is also anticipated to provide a catalyst for substantial economic improvements for the area.”