Item 9.1 - Attachment 5

Council Report for acquisition for 40 Cowper Street - 23 March 2009



ITEM NUMBER         17.1

SUBJECT                   Strategic Asset Management Property Acquisition Negotiation

REFERENCE            F2008/03904 - D01150369

REPORT OF              Property Development Advisor     

This report is confidential in accordance with section 10A (2) (d) of the Local Government act 1993 as the report contains commercial information of a confidential nature that would, if disclosed (i) prejudice the commercial position of the person who supplied it; or (ii) confer a commercial advantage on a competitor of the Council; or (iii) reveal a trade secret.   





This report seeks the approval of Council to proceed with the acquisition of the CONFIDENTIAL property at 40 Cowper Street, Granville.






(a)       That action be taken to acquire 40 Cowper Street, Granville more formally known as Lot 1 in Deposited Plan 998449.


(b)       That the proposed future actions identified in clauses 15 and 16 be approved.


(c)       Further, that a report be presented to Council once all the proposed future actions are completed.





1.      Council owns a relatively large property at 48 Cowper Street, Granville with area of 2096m2 which is zoned B4 Mixed Use and is considered to have development potential. The property the subject of this report directly adjoins Council owned property and is situated at 40 Cowper Street, Granville.

2.      Although only 430m2 in area the property at 40 Cowper street will allow Council to have one contiguous site of 2526m2 and a combined frontage to Cowper Street of 46m, which will add value to Councils existing site and enable a more cost efficient development of the Council holdings.

3.      The property at 40 Cowper Street, Granville is located on the south east corner of Rowell Street and directly adjoins the Council owned car park at 48 Cowper Street. The subject property and the car park are zoned Mixed Use 10 in the current LEP 2001 and proposed to be zoned B4 in the Draft LEP 2008 with the consequent increase in permissible height to 52m and Floor Space Ratio of 6:1. This gives a potential developable floor space of 15,156m2 or a possible 140 units.

4.      The property has been proposed for acquisition for a number of years and together with the car park was recommended for a Central Square in the Hawkins Report of 2006.




5.      The property has been the subject of a local heritage listing for some time. The NSW Government Architects Office was commissioned to conduct a heritage assessment and the report of Mary Knaggs is attached. The report states that “one of the main reasons to consider removal of this cottage is that is does not have a sympathetic setting because its surroundings are now largely higher density business uses and the carpark use.” The report concludes that if the building is to be demolished that it be advertised to assess the community esteem for the property, that the property be recorded and that a brief archaeological assessment to consider building elements of concealed artefacts is conducted. A part of the conclusion follows;

“This cottage at 40 Cowper Street Granville has some local heritage value, however;”

a.     The house has been vacant for some time, is in a neglected and vandalised state;

b.    The setting of the house and garden, surrounded by higher density business use zoning and carparks, has been compromised;

c.     The zoning allows commercial uses over several floors, further new commercial development and/or a commuter carpark is likely on adjacent land;

d.     Were the cottage to remain in private ownership it is likely that it would be further neglected, or that there would be pressure to alter it further to accommodated commercial uses;

e.     Commercial uses are also likely to result in loss of the garden setting as part of the allotment area may be required for extensions and parking ( however a full range of possible uses has not been explored- for example a child care centre may be a good fit; and

f.      There are other similar period timber cottages throughout the Parramatta LGA, many in better condition and some in setting which better enhance their heritage values.


6.      The report has been reviewed by the Council Heritage Advisor, Mr Zoran Popovic and the conclusions and recommendations have been accepted by him.

7.      In the medium term the property will contribute a further 24 car spaces when consolidated with the existing carpark. Given the imminent loss of up to 90 spaces where the new Police Station will be located in Carlton Street these spaces will be badly needed.

8.      The longer term future for the site will be more likely to be a missed use development based on the B4 zoning that is proposed. This zoning will allow for 15 level building when finally gazetted in the next 12 months of so.

9.      Negotiations have been ongoing for some time and the initial expectations of the owners were unrealistic at $750,000. However over time they have become more realistic and interested in a sale. As a result a valuation was commissioned in August 2008 by Cushman and Wakefield Valuers and they valued the property on a stand alone basis with the Heritage listing in place at $385,000. The valuation also attributed as special value of $100,000 on top due to the potential for consolidation with the existing Council owned land and the ability to lift the Heritage listing. This gave a final value of $485,000 for the property. The valuation did not contemplate a value based on the potential of a multi unit development incorporating the Council carpark.

10.    In February 2009 the owners finally agreed to the sale proceeding at the valuation figure of $485,000 subject to council approval.








11.    There are funds available in the Property Development Reserve Fund to complete the purchase.

12.    If acquired the Council land will enjoy greater potential to develop a mixed use development and provide housing options for the local community. The asset base of Council will appreciate in value as a result.

13.    Council has the opportunity to purchase at a time when property values have fallen. Once property values begin to rise again owners are more reluctant to sell or demand unrealistic prices.

14.    The Heritage Report confirms that the Heritage listing should be lifted and Council should begin this process once the acquisition is complete.




15.    The Strategic Asset Management Unit undertake the necessary actions to exchange contracts with the owner subject to settlement terms after June 30 2009.


16.    The Heritage Architect completes a final report which confirms that the Heritage listing be lifted and the strategic Asset Management Unit complete the process to lift the Heritage listing.




17.    Consultation has taken place with Council’s Land Use and Transport Planning Unit.


18.    Further consultation has also taken place with external consultants and some of their recommendations are contained in the attachments.





19.    There are strong future financial benefits to Council to adopt all the proposed recommendations.

20.    Council will be able to make further decisions on whether to sell or to develop the site when further feasibilities are completed.



Graeme Bleus

Property Development Advisor

Strategic Asset Management







Item 9.1 - Attachment 5

Council Report for acquisition for 40 Cowper Street - 23 March 2009




Emailing: Planning Map Cowper Street, Granville LEP 2001e.pdf: Planning Map Cowper Street, Granville LEP 2001e

1 Page



Emailing: 40CowperSt_HeritageReport_011208.pdf: 40CowperSt_HeritageReport_011208

31 Pages



Emailing: 40 Cowper Street Parramapper Details.pdf: 40 Cowper Street Parramapper Details

2 Pages