Cumberland City Council has given the go-ahead to a former mayor to build a 14-storey, $38.4 million mixed-use tower across six adjoining lots at Lidcombe in western Sydney.
A key element of Marque Eight’s approval is that four floors of the building will be given over to 83 rooms under a co-living plan, which will include common break-out areas, and some shared kitchen and bathroom facilities.
Another eight floors will house a mix of 100 residential apartments, while four commercial tenancies will fill the ground floor. Three underground levels will provide parking for 162 cars.
In lodging the application in May of this year, privately held Sydney developer Marque Eight sought to take advantage of a recent change in height restrictions to build to the maximum 45m above the 2441sq m property on the corner of Marsden and Mark streets.
Cumberland granted approval last week to Marque Eight, of which Australian Securities and Investments Commission records confirm Ronney Oueik is the sole director. Oueik was mayor of Auburn City Council twice—for two years from September 2010 and then again for a year between 2014 and 2015.
In May 2016 the NSW government merged nine councils and created 19 new ones. A big part of Auburn Council, together with the Woodville ward of Parramatta City and most of the Holroyd City Council, became Cumberland City Council.
Marque Eight acquired five lots for a total $18 million in January 2015. It bought a sixth adjoining lot, adding another 405sq m, for $3.1 million about 17 months later. Three houses and a factory are on the parcel, which under the approved application will all be demolished.
The co-living apartments will be across the first three floors, including a manager’s room, common room and other break-out areas. Sixty-nine two-bedroom, 21 single-bedroom and 10 three-bedroom apartments will be on the fourth to the 11th floors.
Cumberland approved a previous request for a 10-storey, mixed-use building, including 149 apartments in November 2017, but construction never began.
The approval calls for a building 45m high—13m higher than previously allowed—which only became possible in November last year when the Cumberland local environmental plan came into force. The new LEP amended controls on height restrictions for the Lidcombe town centre.
“The proposed site is increasing density on existing urban land within proximity to an established centre, which is consistent with the vision of Sydney’s urban form on limiting urban sprawl and intensifying development on existing urban land stock focused around centres,” senior associate Joe McLoughlin of Urban Link Architects, who designed the building, said.
Lidcombe is about 20 minutes from Parramatta on the main western rail line, about 16km from Sydney’s CBD and near Sydney Olympic Park.
“The proximity to these surrounding suburbs supports the demand for an increasing variety of housing options within the area to support the growth of business and commercial assets,” McLoughlin said.