North Sydney Centre Economic Study

North Sydney _1920x600

The brief: North Sydney Council commissioned Hill PDA to provide independent economic advice concerning the existing and future role of the North Sydney CBD office market (the CBD) in light of competing land uses, particularly residential.

Our role: HillPDA’s role was to:

  • Consider the CBD’s current economic performance, the external forces that would influence its economic outlook and the land use requirements generated by those trends;
  • Test alternate planning scenarios to establish the economic impacts of allowing residential uses in the CBD’s commercial core; and
  • Identify initiatives that can support the CBD’s smaller businesses and make fundamental improvements to the local economy.

The Study informed the North Sydney Centre Review 2013.

The results: After a challenging period, positive signs of improvement have emerged in the North Sydney CBD. The Study found the CBD is well positioned to make the most of opportunities presented by mega trends such as the growth of the Knowledge Economy, the rise of Asia and Australia’s aging population.

Analysis of alternate future planning scenarios for the CBD identified that allowing residential development in the existing commercial core could crowd out and undermine the attractiveness and viability of new commercial development. This in turn may limit the Centre’s capacity to achieve its prescribed job target of +12,000 jobs by 2031.

The Study recommended a range of initiatives that could assist to revitalise the North Sydney Centre and enhance its competiveness. These included: reinventing the CBD’s public domain, elevating the role of culture in the CBD, attracting an additional anchor supermarket, enhancing the night time economy and creating a compelling identity for the CBD.

Key learning’s: A survey of residents and workers found North Sydney’s greatest strength is its proximity to shops, services, schools, hospitals, parks, Sydney CBD, Sydney Harbour and public transport.

Summary of services: Policy Analysis, Demographic and economic trends analysis, Market Appraisal, Economic Impact Assessment, Scenario Testing, Stakeholder Consultation, Economic Development Strategies