by Jeni Bone
Under the plans, the development will feature marina berths for yachts up to 70m, a yacht club, offices, workshops, boutiques, restaurants, entertainment venues and a multilevel car park.
Sydney Superyacht Marina - placing Australia on the global destination map.
Director, Justin James says this will not be a regular marina. 'We are aiming to build a marina of international calibre – something you would see in the south of France or Monaco. It’s a much-needed boost for the marine industry and locals, and will be great for tourism, appealing to a whole range of different users.'
He adds, Sydney and Australia as a tourism destination, will benefit from any development around the harbour, improve existing services for visitors and the public.
Contrary to reports in mainstream media, developers are not holding out for 'Chinese and Indian millionaires with their superyachts'. These markets, while promising, are not yet the yachting behemoths some pundits predicted.
'The main markets will be domestic permanent, domestic transient, and international superyachts visiting Sydney and Australia.'
Investment banker, Mark Carnegie, and a solicitor, Andrew Robinson, have a majority stake in the venture. The former South Sydney NRL player Brian James holds the remaining share. They have been promoting the concept for the past few years at yacht shows including Monaco and Fort Lauderdale, as part of Superyacht Australia and under their own banner of Sydney Superyacht Marina.
The 24-berth marina was originally built to host various visiting yachts during the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games
, but the land was not developed beyond demountable buildings and a now-disused restaurant and is described as 'neglected' by prospective developers.
'Since that time, it has been the superyacht industry leader championing international superyacht visitation to Australia and driving the local industry,' says the developer in a statement.
'The proposed development seeks to upgrade the land based facilities to ensure the marina stays competitive with other world class superyacht marinas, to revitalise the maritime district, and to ensure the continuing economic benefits that such a facility brings to the NSW maritime industry and NSW economy as a whole.'
As James explains: 'Three buildings are proposed. The western building is proposed to include a registered yacht club, marine uses (such as offices, boat sales, staff and training services), and ancillary uses such as a provedore and restaurants. The eastern building is proposed to include marine offices, marine retail activity, and workshops together with other ancillary food and drink outlets.'
A car park building will be constructed behind the eastern building.
'This will become the beating heart of superyachting,' James adds.
The Planning Assessment Commission will determine the marina proposal under scrapped Part 3a laws. But Leichhardt and City of Sydney councils say no new development should be considered until a broader strategy for the bays precinct is finalised. It comprises 80 hectares of valuable foreshore land from Rozelle to Blackwattle Bay and White Bay.
Several developments affecting the precinct are in the works, including an approved cruise passenger terminal at White Bay and plans to establish a temporary pavilion at Glebe Island while the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre is redeveloped.
While 66 submissions were received to the Environmental Assessment from the general public raising concerns of noise and potential traffic congestion, SSYM addressed these with plans for construction of buildings using materials that meet Sound Transmission Class ratings and includes glazing with acoustic seals, self-locking doors and air locks for the yacht club, as well as committing to a curfew on outdoor music after 8pm (except on 5 special events per annum) and outdoor seating after 10pm.
Upgrading of the Rozelle and Blackwattle Bays Precinct road network by NSW Maritime and traffic will mitigate traffic congestion.
Once approved, James is forecasting a 12 month construction phase and once completed, the new precinct would provide around 50 full-time jobs.
Among the list of project benefits, James says will be 'a vibrant mixed use maritime precinct that sustains Sydney working harbour', an enhanced foreshore for public enjoyment, with 24 hour access and a boost to the NSW economy by attracting superyachts from overseas and increasing visitor expenditure in Sydney.
'It is estimated a vessel can generate $10,000 per vessel per day excluding maintenance and refit services. The NSW Superyacht Industry Association estimates that the superyacht industry in NSW generates in excess of $200 million annually and employs over 1,000 skilled people directly and indirectly.'
More at www.superyachtmarina.com.au