The Shire adopts foreshore living
Most of the buyers in this new development are locals, writes Jennifer Veerhuis
It began in controversy, with opposition voices raised about over-development, traffic and its environmental impact on mangrove foreshores, the aquatic reserve and the nearby nature reserve at Towra Point.
But now, years after it was mooted, the new Woolooware Bay town centre and community development is a reality and its first offerings have met with overwhelming success.
Just a few minutes’ drive from the surf at Wanda, Elouera and Cronulla beaches and near two golf courses, playing fields, Sharkies Leagues Club and a variety of schools, Wooloware Bay struck a chord with those looking to live or invest in one of the Sutherland Shire’s go-ahead areas.
To be constructed on a 10ha waterfront site owned by Cronulla Sutherland Leagues Club, the finished development will include a retail centre, eight buildings and a total of 600 apartments, many with water views.
Viability for football club
The site is being developed in partnership with the leagues club and the managing director of developer Bluestone, Ben Fairfax, says it will ultimately help provide financial sustainability for the club.
“We’ll provide the club, on top of their licensed premises, with a wonderful outdoor deck facing north over Woolooware Bay and back towards the city,” Ben says.
“That’s going to provide fantastic amenity not only for residents but also the wider community and it will allow the club to be a destination location again.”
Buyers out in force
The first sales weekend in late January left only 43 apartments unsold out of 220 releases.
“The development has been based on the feedback from the community from the outset, so it’s testament to their focus and interest,’’ Ben says.
“Initially we were going to release only the first building, Esplanade, but we had such great interest we ended up releasing the first three — Esplanade, Pavilion and Sea.”
Ben estimates one-third are locally-based investors, one-third are owner-occupiers and the other third are young first home buyers who are investing in the short term but intend to move in later on.
“It’s been very well supported and 95 per cent of people who secured an apartment in the development have been local to the Sutherland Shire as well,” Ben says, noting that a lack of new apartments over the years had made the development more attractive.
Facilities cater for everyone
The apartments include a mix of one-, twoand three-bedroom configurations with security carparking, lift access, reverse-cycle airconditioning and deep balconies.
Residents will have access to foreshore parklands and a large retail centre with supermarkets, a medical centre, speciality stores, a chemist, banks and restaurants.
Intranet access will allow residents to order groceries online and have them delivered to special refrigerated lockers in the foyer of their building. Free wi-fi will also be available throughout the estate.
Shared facilities include a rooftop sunset cinema, pools and a health club, and a playground is being specially built in collaboration with the Touched by Olivia Foundation for the use of both able and disabled children.
“We have the opportunity to create a community from the start and you can’t always get that in a stand-alone development of apartments,” Ben says. “People are really interested in the fact we’re not just marketing apartments but an entire lifestyle.”
The site is one kilometre from Woolooware train station and a shuttle bus will take passengers to Woolooware, Cronulla and Caringbah stations.
Traffic concerns eased
Ben says early concerns such as increased traffic along Captain Cook Dr have been taken into account, with three new sets of traffic lights being installed to calm the traffic. At the same time dedicated bus drop-off zones will be created to cater for future public transport in the area.
Existing footpaths along Captain Cook Dr will be reconstructed while work is being done along the foreshore to create good footpaths and pedestrian links, along with extensive boardwalks.
Ben says Bluestone have already started to work on new facilities for Junior Rugby League at local high schools to provide training and work experience opportunities for senior students.
Next Saturday Woolooware Bay’s first waterfront apartments in two buildings, Landings and Cove, will be released. They will include 178 apartments, villas, townhouses and penthouses with prices expected to start from $485,000 for a onebedroom apartment.
Eight buildings will be released in total, all with access to facilities, including a rooftop sunset cinema, rooftop infinity-edge pool, walking and cycleways.
Construction of the first stage of residential and the Bay Central retail centre is expected to start midway through this year.