HMAS Platypus Site Valuation and Land Economics Advice

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Occupying a prime waterfront position in Sydney’s affluent suburb of Neutral Bay, the HMAS Platypus site presented an exciting development opportunity. Originally a gasworks site, it was acquired by the Commonwealth Government in 1942 to be used as a submarine base and for torpedo maintenance. The site was decommissioned in 1999 but its former use left major residual contamination.

Before vesting the site to the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust, a major due diligence exercise was undertaken, during which HillPDA provided valuation and land economics guidance to inform the planning controls that would underpin future land uses. Using the Estate Master property software, the HillPDA Team undertook a number of feasibility assessments to complete the Highest and Best Use Analysis for the site and uncover the most appropriate disposal strategy. The site’s contamination was a central issue that needed to be resolved in order for it to become suitable for residential development in order to maximise the potential of this valuable public asset.

Involving the community in discussions regarding such a major site was essential. HillPDA communicated complex commercial viability issues in an easy-to-understand manner so that the community could appreciate the extensive costs associated with the site’s contamination and how this influenced the economics of its redevelopment.

The work undertaken facilitated a Memorandum of Understanding between the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust and the Department of Defence (May 2009) for the remediation the site which was an integral element in the vesting of the site with the Trust.

Summary of Services: Development Feasibility, Highest and Best Use Analysis, Risk Assessment, Disposal Strategy, Community Consultation