131 Henry Street
- Written by Teela Griffin Penrith City Council (02) 4732 7777 (02) 4732 7958 firstname.lastname@example.org https://www.penrithcity.nsw.gov.au 601 High St Penrith NSW 2750 Australia
Penrith City Council is transforming the former Council Chambers at 129-133 Henry Street into a new commercial building known as 131 Henry Street.
This project will be the catalyst for the revitalisation of the Penrith CBD and set the benchmark for future city developments.
The design of the building focuses on both workers and the local community to create a workplace of the future with activated public and retail spaces for everyone to enjoy.
With the population of Penrith set to increase and over half of our working population already commuting outside of the local government area each day for work, we need to significantly increase our employment opportunities.
Global architecture firm, Woods Bagot, won a Design Excellence Competition for the building, following a rigorous competition and assessment from a panel of independent industry experts.
The proposed design features approximately 8,000 sqm of flexible commercial space, ground floor retail, on-site parking, green spaces and a building façade that activates both street frontages.
131 Henry Street will not only address the limited supply of A-grade commercial space in Penrith, but it will also strengthen Penrith's role as an employment hub within Western Sydney, creating in excess of 150 jobs through construction and a further 430 jobs upon completion.
The proposed building incorporates best practice principles of environmentally sustainable design and is targeting a minimum of 5 Star Green Star rating in line with Council's Cooling the City Strategy. It also reimagines the building in a sensitive way that respects its important history as the former Council Chambers while providing a modern place to work with cafes and dining.
Well-positioned in the heart of Penrith's CBD, this building delivers on Council's vision through investment to create a prosperous and sought-after city with employment opportunities close to home.
The future occupants of the commercial building will experience the ease and convenience of retail, restaurants and major public transport links on their doorstep, while also being adjacent to the future City Park.
What is Council doing now
Following the Design Excellence Competition, Council is now working with Woods Bagot to further develop and refine the winning design to ensure the project responds to the commercial and financial requirements of the brief, while maintaining design integrity and excellence.
Following any further refinement of the design, a Development Application (DA) will be lodged by the end of 2021, where the community can provide their feedback on the design.
Why are we transforming the former Council Chambers?
Western Sydney is undergoing significant transformation and growth to become Sydney’s third CBD. Fundamental to this growth is local investment in new infrastructure and the creation of new employment opportunities.
With over half of Penrith’s working population commuting outside the local government area each day for work, Council is committed to increasing the employment opportunities in our City.
Located in the heart of the CBD, 131 Henry Street is perfectly positioned to lead the growth of Penrith as a major employment hub in Western Sydney. The redevelopment of 131 Henry Street will provide A-grade commercial space and create in excess of 150 jobs through construction and a further 430 jobs upon completion.
Council is investing in projects like the revitalisation of 131 Henry Street to create a highly liveable future city with employment opportunities close to home.
What is happening at the former Council Chambers site?
Penrith City Council has been exploring opportunities to redevelop the former Council Chambers for some time as this location is key to unlocking more local jobs and employment opportunities.
In June 2020, Council announced its intention to revitalise and redevelop the site into a vibrant, modern workplace with public and retail space on the ground floor.
In March 2021, global architecture firm, Woods Bagot, was announced as the winner of a Design Excellence Competition to redevelop the former Council Chambers, now known as 131 Henry Street.
Following a rigorous competition and assessment from a panel of independent industry experts, the Woods Bagot submission offered an innovative architectural design that sought to reinvigorate the city centre and to set the tone for future CBD developments.
Where is the site located?
The former Penrith Council Chambers is located at 129-133 Henry Street, south of Penrith Railway station.
How will the site’s history be preserved?
131 Henry Street was the home of the former Council Chambers from 1959 until the relocation of Council in 1993 to its current premises.
The history of the site will be celebrated through a robust heritage interpretation strategy which includes the reuse of building elements and high-quality public domain features.
A detailed Heritage Interpretation Plan which holistically captures and celebrates the history of the site will be prepared in the design development phase. The community will have the opportunity to provide feedback during the design development stages and in the public exhibition period of the Development Application.
Why are you knocking down the existing building and not just refurbishing it?
Council recognises the important role the former Council Chambers has played in Penrith’s civic history and preserving the heritage significance of the site is a key consideration for the project.
For many years, Council has been exploring opportunities to rejuvenate the former Council Chambers and has considered a number of solutions. In this instance, the level of upgrades required to bring the building up to current standards were significant, with the end result still unable to deliver the broad community outcomes that are achievable from a redevelopment of the site. The redevelopment of the building, along with the future City Park, will revitalise the Penrith CBD into a vibrant and sustainable centre with a modern workplace, public and retail areas, green space to cool the city and improved employment opportunities.
It will also deliver 430 jobs upon completion helping to provide jobs closer to home and position Penrith as an employment hub in Western Sydney.
Is Council considering other options?
Council has considered a number of options for this site and concluded that redevelopment will provide the best outcome for the community with a modern workplace, sustainability features, on-site parking, activated public and retail spaces, heritage features and a connection to the new City Park.
When will work begin on-site?
Subject to planning approvals and procurement processes, work on-site is anticipated to commence in late-2022.
Who will own the building once complete?
Council will retain ownership of the site and lease the workplaces to commercial businesses, contributing to Council’s long-term stable financial management plan to reduce reliance on rate income to deliver high-quality services for the community now and into the future.
What is happening to the existing tenants on the site?
Throughout the planning and design phases of this project, Council will continue to honour all existing lease agreements and all tenants will be able to occupy the building until late-2022.
Council will also support the tenants through the relocation process to minimise the disruption for continuity of services to the community.
When will the community be consulted about the project?
During the Development Application process, Council will undertake formal consultation with the local community about the redevelopment at 131 Henry Street.
What is the planning process for this project?
The site is zoned specifically for Commercial Uses and following the refinement of the winning design submission, a Development Application will be prepared and lodged by the end of 2021. As a Council owned site, the future development application will be referred to the Western Sydney Planning Panel for determination.
What impact will the works have on businesses around 131 Henry Street?
Council is committed to working with neighbouring businesses to help minimise disruption during future works. Planning approvals will need to be secured prior to any construction works commencing. Further information on the timing and delivery of the construction phase will be communicated with all businesses closer to the time (early 2022).
How can I get more information?