23 January 2024

Demolition starts at former Coke Works in readiness for 5-star Green Star rated community

| Dione David
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Digital render of The Works Corrimal

The original 1912 chimney stack will be restored to become a central element of The Works’ heritage precinct. Image: Legacy Property.

After a century of being closed to the public, 18 hectares of prime Corrimal real estate is set to be gradually released “back to the people” in the form of Wollongong’s first 5-star Green Star rated community.

Demolition has commenced at the site of the former Corrimal Coke Works, and developers Legacy Property have big plans for a new development called “The Works” incorporating a variety of landscapes, precincts, housing types and features.

Legacy Property Senior Project Director Steve Ball said the concept would revitalise the area by providing amenities not only for the people living there but the broader community as well while paying homage to the heritage and enhancing the biodiversity of the area.

“This project is going to be transformative,” he said.

“It’s a chance for this site, which has long been heavily industrial, to be revitalised into a thriving community that’s good for everyone, and effectively given back to the people after 100 years of being unavailable.”

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Green Star communities promote environmental and social sustainability outcomes and are rated on governance, liveability, economic prosperity, environment and innovation. The aim is to deliver safe, accessible, and culturally rich communities that provide broad ranging public benefits through careful planning, design and construction while reducing ecological impacts.

Central to the development’s environmental sustainability goals was a pledge to retain more than 50 per cent (around nine hectares) of the site as undeveloped land.

Legacy has also pledged to reduce the construction and demolition waste going to landfill by at least 80 per cent.

Other factors impacting the community’s 5-star rating included access to public and active transport options such as its proximity to train stations and bus routes, water-sensitive urban design and water quality improvements through aquatic planting, community gardens and extensive retention of existing (and planting of new) trees.

“We will plant about 150,000 trees, predominantly native species, along the riparian zone of the creek that runs through the site,” Steve said.

“We’ve also proposed a bush tucker track that’ll incorporate plants significant to First Nations people, and are working on a program to make that bush tucker track accessible to the local school for educational purposes.”

Having opened doors in 1912 and closed in 2014, Steve said the Corrimal Coke Works was the longest-running coke works in the Southern Hemisphere.

As part of the heritage restoration of the project, the original 1912 chimney stack is slated for restoration and will become a central element of the site’s heritage precinct.

“It has become an iconic landmark from several locations in Corrimal and beyond, so it seemed the responsible thing to ensure that remained as a sort of beacon for the community,” Steve said.

“That heritage precinct will come to life with food and beverage offerings to broaden the site’s appeal beyond residents. Located adjacent to the train station, we hope the broader community will come to view it as a destination to enjoy cake and coffee and socialise as they soak up the site’s history.”

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Legacy has so far received masterplan approval for 550 dwellings to be delivered over four stages, with the development application for 181 apartments delivered in stage one currently before council.

It is hoped that this stage, located close to the Railway Street side of the property, will commence by the end of this year for completion within two years.

With plans to sell properties off the plan, a new display centre is nearing completion and will soon open on the corner of Railway Street and Princes Highway – visit The Works Corrimal for more information.

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