Is NAB bank coming to Parramatta Square?

Go west: Parramatta Square could be the new home of NAB.As one major bank prepares to ditch Parramatta, another is preparing to move in.

NAB is likely to become an anchor tenant at Parramatta Council and Walkercorp’s Parramatta Square project.

The Commonwealth Bank last yearangered advocates for the areawhen it said it would not renew leases at Parramatta, Sydney Olympic Park and Lidcombe, and would instead move into new offices at Australian Technology Park near Redfern.

But NAB could reverse the trend if, as expected, it signs leases to move into the $2 billion Parramatta Square developmentbeing built by Walkercorp.

NAB is also to move into a new tower above Wynyard Station in Sydney’s central business district. Opening offices at Parramatta Square, which is to be connected by apedestrian tunnel to Parramatta Station, would enable relatively easy travel between the two NAB sites on Sydney’s Western rail line.

Securing an anchor tenant such as NAB could be critical to the success of Parramatta Square, and the agenda of both the government and local council to establish Parramatta as the city’s second CBD.

Although there has been significant construction of residential properties in Parramatta, employment growth in the region has not been as strong. According to Bureau of Statistics figures, employment growth in Parramatta has been growing at 1.8 per cent, compared to 3.4 per cent for the state as a whole, and 6.7 per cent for the inner city.

Nevertheless the state government has determined that the area around Greater Parramatta and Olympic Park -which it has started to call “GPOP”- are to be the heart of the city. The Baird government this weeksaid it would build a new rail linebetween Sydney’s CBD and Parramatta some time in the next decade.

Neither NAB nor Walkercorp, which last year won the right to develop the site, would comment on a potential deal.

A spokeswoman for NAB said: “NAB is committed to investing in high standard facilities for our people and our customers, and ensuring we have in place the best solutions for our future workplace needs. This process remains commercial in confidence.”

A spokesman for Walkercorp said the developer was “in discussion with a range of government and non-government tenants” but had no comment to make about the NAB.

The Commonwealth Bank has said it would move to Technology Park near Redfern by 2020. A development application by developer Mirvac for the site has been thesubject of a disputeover the level of community contributions to be paid.

Walkercorp, meanwhile, lodged development applications for two of its proposed Parramatta Square towers in June.

The state government has said it would move both the Department of Education and the Department of Planning to Parramatta. But it has not yet secured a home for the Department of Planning.

Meanwhile, the administrator of Parramatta Council, Amanda Chadwick, resolved at a meeting on Monday night not to challenge a decision by the Greater Sydney Commission to restrict the height of buildings near Parramatta Squarein order to preserve sun access.


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