7 July 2023

Call out to country's top builders to deliver Wollongong's $500 million WIN Grand project

| Jen White
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The extensive WIN Grand development with three towers and commercial space.

WIN Grand will change the face of the Wollongong CBD and transform the cityscape. Photos: WIN Grand.

The $500 million WIN Grand project set to transform the face of Wollongong’s CBD is now one step closer to becoming a reality.

The WIN Grand development will cover an entire city block of just over one hectare, bounded by Crown, Keira, Burelli and Atchison Streets.

The brainchild of WIN owner Bruce Gordon, WIN Grand is now seeking partners to help deliver the landmark project, which will include three residential towers with 390 apartments, a commercial office building and 50 new retailers including cafes, restaurants, bars and high street retail.

It will also feature a cinema complex, function and exhibition space, live music and arts venue, and a health precinct with gymnasium, lap pool, spa, sauna and steam room.

The highest of the three towers will be 39 storeys, offering views out to sea and the escarpment.

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All existing structures on the site will be demolished to make way for the development, except the local heritage Marcus Clark facade (now the Spotlight store) and clock tower and the Grand Hotel facade, both of which will be retained and restored.

In approving the development application late last year, the Southern Region Planning Panel recognised the benefits of the project, including the renewal and revitalisation of an entire city block through a range of land uses. It said WIN Grand would deliver much-needed housing and upgrades to the public domain, including an accessible plaza with links to all street frontages.

The panel acknowledged there would be a “significant impact” on views from other high-rise apartments in the city but said overall the development was in the public interest.

“The proposed development would be beneficial, resulting in a major revitalisation of a key precinct within the Wollongong CBD,” it said in its approval.

Birketu, the Gordon family’s investment company, has appointed Colliers to seek expressions of interest from industry specialists keen to partner in or take over the delivery of the project.

Colliers Wollongong Managing Director Simon Kersten said the significance of the site required a specialist to deliver the landmark project and realise the incredible vision that Mr Gordon has for the city.

“Birketu is a company that invests in property, and it has delivered on its specific strategy of acquiring an entire inner-city block,” he said.

“It has planned, designed and gained approval for a project that offers significant public benefit by combining a range of residential and commercial opportunities with public spaces and facilities.

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“It has been their passion for more than 20 years and they will continue to apply best practice in delivering this project by seeking an experienced partner who shares their vision and can bring it to reality,” Mr Kersten added.

“The scale of this site makes it an ideal proposition for some of our nation’s top builders and developers and we’re hoping that WIN Grand brings some of them to Wollongong for the first time.”

Mr Kersten said Birketu was exploring all options with the call for expressions of interest and the search would include an extensive period of due diligence to ensure any partnership is in the best interest of the project and the city.

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