Harvey Norman Limited plans on moving its headquarters from Homebush to a newly constructed, state-of-the-art facility in North Ryde, on top of the company’s existing Domayne outlet.
The company, which operates the Harvey Norman, Domayne and Joyce Mayne network of franchised and company owned stores, has applied to Ryde Council to construct three new buildings, including a Stamford Hotel, in Macquarie Park, near the ‘North Ryde Station Precinct’.
In a briefing note provided to councillors in a meeting on 12 March 2013, obtained by Appliance Retailer, Harvey Norman representatives outlined their proposal, which will take up almost 2 hectares at 111 Wicks Road and 29-35 Epping Road. Harvey Norman also furnished the Council with designs prepared by architecture firm Allen Jack + Cottier.
Should the proposals be successful, Harvey Norman’s new corporate head office would be located at a 12-storey commercial office tower above the Domayne store and a 6-storey commercial building at the site next to the Domayne store, currently occupied by a panel beater business called North Ryde Smash Repairs.
Behind these two properties and in the middle of the North Ryde Station Precinct would be a 27-storey Stamford hotel and apartment complex. For these two buildings to be approved, Harvey Norman would need the Ryde Council to support a building control height increase and a zoning amendment to accommodate a residential tower.
“Harvey Norman’s proposal breaks a number of council’s existing controls, particularly in excedence,” said a Ryde Council insider. “Should the proposal be lodged, Ryde Council will need to decide if the community benefit is large enough to allow any extra height.”
Harvey Norman’s proposal for this new construction lists 10 “key benefits” to the community should these buildings get the go-ahead for development.
These benefits include the creation of around 900 new jobs in the area, development of a new public road at no cost to the council and improved pedestrian access to a new urban plaza. Because this development is so close to North Ryde train station, Harvey Norman predicts employees and visitors will use public transport to commute, relieving traffic at this busy intersection.
“The proposal will deliver a significant new commercial and hotel floorspace, attracting some 900 jobs, which is consistent with state and local planning policy to grow employment in the centre,” said Harvey Norman in its briefing to councillors.
Harvey Norman has signalled its intent to enter into a Voluntary Planning Agreement (VPA) with the Council to provide funds to improve the community and to offset any negative outcomes from this development.
“The proponent [Harvey Norman] will offer to enter into a VPA with Council to provide a monetary contribution for these public purposes in addition to delivering a new road and creating an urban plaza,” said a Harvey Norman representative.
The Domayne store at North Ryde, site of the proposed new Harvey Norman head office.