Plan to turn Pyrmont into global tourist hub

An ambitious plan to transform Sydney’s Ultimo and Pyrmont district into a global business and tourism hub has been unveiled.

A coalition of business groups including Google, The Star, Sofitel Darling Harbour, Mirvac and Lendlease, who have come together under the Western Harbour Alliance banner, will operate a three-year business improvement trial under the new Business Improvement District (BID) plan.

The trial will see businesses and governments fund projects including a new harbour festival with the aim of attracting more people to the precinct.

Group chairman and former Events NSW CEO Geoff Parmenter said the area is “under-utilised” and should emulate the success of New York’s Meatpacking District or London’s West End.

“The Western Harbour has extraordinary assets in a location that would be the envy of any other city in the world,” he said.

“The exciting opportunities created by several billion dollars planned investment over the next five years and the introduction of a Pyrmont Metro station, mean that the timing of establishing a Business Improvement District is perfect. The BID can be the catalyst – as has been the case elsewhere in the world – to bring the Western Harbour to its appropriate place as Sydney’s new ‘shopfront’, and one its best known and most loved destinations.”

NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the BID would be a “a significant driver of economic growth and jobs in Sydney and NSW”.

“For too long the precinct has been a poor cousin of the Sydney CBD, and the NSW Government is supportive of this effort to attract new investment, businesses, talent and visitor attractions to reinvigorate the area,” he said.

“The NSW Government is making significant investments in the precinct, including the new Sydney Fish Markets and a planned station as part of Sydney Metro West, with the NSW Department of Planning currently preparing master plans for the Pyrmont Peninsula and to help unlock its full potential.”

Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore described the Western Harbour as a “real jewel of our global city”.

“We are pleased to support and participate in this initiative, which we hope will further bring together residents, visitors, students and businesses large and small to make the Western Harbour an even more loved and internationally recognised waterfront,” she said.