The City of Penrith has begun a major development program by kick-starting a raft of projects that will not only revitalise its CBD but also transform the area into a major commercial centre.

Given the city’s close proximity to the new Nancy-Bird International Airport at Badgerys Creek, the Penrith City Council hopes to capitalise on the opportunities presented by the airport, the surrounding aerotropolis as well as metro rail connectivity by attracting businesses from Sydney CBD, which is located about 50km away.

The Council recently announced leading Australian architecture studio Woods Bagot as the winner of a Design Excellence Competition to reinvigorate the former Council Chambers at 129-133 Henry Street into a new commercial building.

The project offers approximately 8,000sqm of flexible commercial space, ground floor retail, on-site parking and a building façade that activates both street frontages. Woods Bagot’s design also incorporates best practice principles of environmentally sustainable design and is targeting a minimum of 5 Star Green Star rating in line with the Council’s ‘Cooling the City Strategy’.

Located in the heart of Penrith’s CBD, the proposed commercial building will offer future occupants the ease and convenience of retail, restaurants and major public transport links on their doorstep, while also being adjacent to the future City Park.

“The transformation of 131 Henry Street will not only help address the limited supply of A-grade commercial space in Penrith, it will also strengthen Penrith’s role as an employment and service cluster within Western Sydney, creating in excess of 150 jobs through construction and a further 430 jobs upon completion,” Penrith mayor Karen McKeown said.

“The redevelopment of 131 Henry Street will set the benchmark for future city developments and be the catalyst for the revitalisation of the Penrith CBD. Penrith is well positioned to become a new commercial centre for growth and innovation, with a number of other projects in the pipeline including commercial space at Soper Place, a new City Park and the $24 million upgrade of Regatta Park,” Cr McKeown added.

Designed by Durbach Block Jaggers, Soper Place in the Penrith CBD seeks to deliver a five-storey multi-deck car park over a basement parking level, along with a four-storey commercial building above offering over 6,000sqm of A-Grade office space in addition to a multi-use community space.

The project will deliver a flagship sustainable building, which takes meaningful action to help cool the City of Penrith with a living green facade featuring plants from ecologies along the Nepean River, extensive plantings within the public domain and a green rooftop, the mayor explained.

The $24 million Regatta Park upgrade on the Nepean River proposes a spectacular transformation, and will feature two new playgrounds, an accessible pathway to the river foreshore, over-water viewing platforms, kiosk with outdoor dining areas, junior cricket oval, functional carpark and green open space areas for a variety of activities. The funding includes $15 million from the Australian and NSW Governments and $9 million contributed by the Council.

“The delivery of the new Regatta Park precinct and Council’s ongoing program of work to revitalise the Nepean River will further strengthen Penrith’s position as Western Sydney’s most liveable city,” Cr McKeown said.

Additionally, the Council is transforming the Penrith City Centre with the delivery of a new 7,000sqm City Park, which will offer a significant open space in a prime location on the corner of Henry Street and Station Street. Conceptualised as a vibrant green space with plenty of opportunities for social activities, City Park is expected to become an appealing destination for residents, workers and visitors, thereby, stimulating the day and night time economy.