The North West Catalyst Area in Lake Macquarie is taking shape.
This week's submission of Costco's development application for its 14,000 square metre store in Boolaroo reaffirms the momentous potential this area has in becoming a central strategic centre for the Hunter.
It alone is incredible for the city, but even better, it was wonderful to see an agreement reached between the Hunter and Central Coast Development Corporation and Green Capital Group for the residential component, which will lead to 500 homes built at the Boolaroo site.
Together, these two amazing developments will mean an overall investment of $300 million is channelled into the city's economy.
The Costco application comes at an exciting time and is a vote of confidence in Lake Macquarie City's economy, particularly in the wake of the impacts of COVID-19.
The development itself is set to generate more than 80 jobs during construction and more than 225 jobs once open, making a lasting economic contribution to the Hunter region.
It's a substantial step for the company, which is investing $60 million in the new store and in developing the site, which reinforces the belief in the region and the value it presents for private and government investment.
It has taken a significant amount of work to get to this point and I acknowledge the work of the council, Dantia, local state MPs, Hunter and Central Coast Development Corporation and the NSW Government.
The Costco plans come on the back of a record $1.5 billion worth of development applications approved in the 2019-2020 financial year, and shows how Lake Macquarie is increasingly becoming the city of choice for investment and development.
Residential development is a huge driver, but the priorities for the North West Catalyst Area are not just about increasing housing supply. In the past five years, residential development has been supported by millions of dollars in public and private investment.
Planning for the North West Catalyst Area has been years in the making. Now, through this bold investment by Costco and Green Capital Group in Lake Macquarie, we are in a position to begin realising the potential this area holds to provide state significant economic growth for decades to come.
For what has long been on the horizon - a liveable, vibrant place for residents and workers that is estimated to deliver more than a billion dollars in economic benefits - is moving closer.
Cr Kay Fraser is the mayor of Lake Macquarie
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