High-rise apartments planned - again - for Sam's Warehouse site

Latest plans. Image: Artist's impression on exhibition through Wollongong council.

Latest plans. Image: Artist's impression on exhibition through Wollongong council.

Another set of new plans for the old Sam’s Warehouse site, on Railway Parade, has been lodged with Wollongong City Council.

This time, proponents Wollongong Investments No 1 Pty Ltd have applied to build a 17-storey mixed use complex at the corner of Railway Parade and Rawson Street.

This adds four extra storeys to a proposal submitted to the council by the same St George-based company late last year.

If approved, the new development would include one level of basement parking, ground floor retail spaces and undercover parking.

Levels one and two would combine residential units with parking spaces, and levels three through to 16 would be residential only.

It would rise nearly 60 metres – well below the maximum height limit for the land – and have a total of 122 homes.

There would be 131 car spaces, 56 bicycle spaces and three retail premises.

Due to the development’s height and proximity to the rail corridor and main roads, an acoustic assessment included with the plans. Consultants say residential apartment windows will require glazing to keep noise at an acceptable level.

The site has been subject to a number of different high-rise plans in recent years, including an approved $38 million 26-storey development.

Lodged by then owners Emibarb Property Trust – the family business of one time Wollongong Lord Mayor George Harrison, the 2014 plans would have delivered an 80 metre tower, with 80 apartments and five retail spaces. The Harrison family listed the site for sale in 2015.

Last year, Wollongong Investments proposed a 13-storey block, which like the current one would have had 130 car spaces and 122 apartments. 

Valued at more than $30 million, this was to be assessed by the Joint Regional Planning Panel, which met for a briefing on the plans in September. Issues discussed at that meeting included design issues and the building’s “interface” with the street.

Sam’s Warehouse shut down in August 2014 when the chain's parent company, Discount Super Group, collapsed.

Since then, the site has since been operating as an all-day car park.

The latest plans are open for public comment through Wollongong council until January 22.