The region’s peak business organisation, Business Illawarra, has today launched a report that details a bold vision for a future, world-class sport and entertainment precinct on the Wollongong foreshore.
Undertaken by renowned urban design and planning experts Urbis, together with venues architects Populous, the report contains a masterplan for the precinct including the WIN Sport and Entertainment Centres, Lang Park and surrounding thoroughfares and public spaces.
The report also contains a detailed design for a state-of-the-art convention and exhibition facility, a new public recreation and festival space (in place of the existing training ground), a re-imagined Lang Park, new stadium grandstands, two hotel towers and activated ground level commercial tenancies.
Executive Director of Business Illawarra, Adam Zarth, said that the report was commissioned following the stalled master planning process in late 2019, when Business Illawarra committed to fund a master plan and high-level business case for a wider precinct on behalf of the business community of the region.
“A state-of-the-art entertainment precinct at the Wollongong foreshore is a long-held ambition for the Illawarra business community,” said Mr Zarth.
“The vision, the analysis and the ideas we’ve brought forward today are a statement that we are committed to a world class sport and entertainment precinct here, we have put our money where our mouths are and we will work with government to see it delivered.”
“The Illawarra is seeing significant private sector investment in urban regeneration precincts – including the $400 million WIN Grand development, the University of Wollongong’s $250 million Health and Wellbeing Precinct and the $1.5 billion Shell Cove development.”
“Now we are calling on government to work with the private sector and Council to deliver our Illawarra Sport and Entertainment Precinct, which arguably should be the regional centerpiece of the Greater Sydney Commission’s ‘Six Cities’ strategy.”
“The proposal in this report would not only deliver a significant economic driver for the region, but an asset that the whole community can get behind, with more than 25,000 square meters of additional parklands, improved public spaces, a highly adaptable and accessible venue that will see more frequent use, a vibrant 24-hour precinct for the city.”
“We recommend that the NSW Government immediately commence development of a business case, that the private sector be engaged at the earliest stages of design and delivery of a future precinct to ensure the most creative and high-quality design and a delivery timeline of five years be set,” Mr Zarth said.