Parramatta’s wharf precinct is getting a makeover with changes designed to see it morph from an “underdone” area into a tourist magnet.
An escarpment boardwalk, garden terrace, and amphitheatre to welcome ferry passengers will form Parramatta Council’s Charles Street Square project, which is part of the Parramatta Quay plans.
The square extends from the intersection of Charles and Phillip streets to the river next to the Parramatta ferry wharf, where a $7.4 million upgrade is almost complete.
Parramatta Lord Mayor Bob Dwyer said the plans were significant to make a good first impression on visitors.
“The river is part of the transport system and it’s also the entry to the city for our tourists,’’ he said.
“It underdone. It’s adequate without being what we want as the second major city.
“We want to make sure we look like Sydney’s second CBD not the end of the line of the ferry.
“We’re a community that’s very unique. We’re the second city. We’re a river city.’’
Western Sydney Business Chamber executive director David Borger echoed the thoughts.
“Parramatta’s spent 100 years turning its back on the river, which has been used for industry, and it’s only in the last 20 years we’ve opened the river up,’’ he said.
“Our community is really keen to have a connection with the river.’’
Property Council of Australia’s western Sydney regional director Ross Grove welcomed the changes.
“The area around the Parramatta Wharf is ripe for a refresh,’’ he said.
“For casual visitors to Parramatta, the delivery of a new wharf, garden terrace, amphitheatre, and square has the potential to put the city’s best foot forward to people stepping off the ferry to experience what Parramatta has to offer.”
The council will fund the project but is relying on Transport for NSW to contribute to its development.
The plans will go on public exhibition in November and December if approved at Tuesday’s council meeting.
Construction is due to start in November 2020 and be completed in October 2021.
Article originally published in the Parramatta Advertiser October 11, 2019.