MACQUARIE CENTRE TO KEEP OLYMPIC -SIZED RINK AS DEVELOPER CAVES IN

 

GREAT NEWS!

AMP Capital has announced that a planned redevelopment of the Macquarie Centre will continue to have an Olympic-sized rink.

City of Ryde mayor Jerome Laxale called the decision “a great development” and thanked the tens of thousands of people who joined the campaign.

“Our job now is to ensure that the Olympic-sized rink is retained in stage one of the redevelopment,” he said.

“It shows how much our community values open space,” he said. “Although it’s an ice rink, people use this site as they would usually use a park.

HOWEVER, many are still concerned the site has a 37-storey zoning!

WHAT will happen to the ice-rink, the business, the jobs, and this very important community asset over a lengthy period if a 37-storey development were to go ahead?

Macquarie Centre to keep Olympic-sized rink as developer caves in

 

The people have won the battle for the Macquarie Ice Rink in Sydney’s north-western suburbs.

After a community outcry that included petitions signed by more than 60,000 protesters, AMP Capital has announced that a planned redevelopment of the Macquarie Centre will continue to have an Olympic-sized rink.

An artist's impression of the proposed redevelopment of the Macquarie Centre that would have forced the closure of the iconic ice rink.
An artist’s impression of the proposed redevelopment of the Macquarie Centre that would have forced the closure of the iconic ice rink.

 

The managing director of AMP Capital Shopping Centres, Mark Kirkland, said the company had listened to the community’s feedback.

“Their outpouring of support shows us they are passionate about retaining an Olympic-sized facility,” he said.

 

Ahead of a planned major upgrade to the shopping centre, AMP Capital had told owner Frank Gregg that the ice rink’s lease would finish on January 31 next year.

The protests included a Change.org petition and dismay from Olympic gold medallist Steven Bradbury, who said it was “sad to see how many sports spaces have been gobbled up due to the ridiculous demand for real estate across Australia”.

Other elite skaters described the planned closure as “devastating” and an “absolute disaster”.

AMP Capital asked the City of Ryde council last month to put its development application on hold for further consultation over the ice rink’s future.

Dr Gregg was delighted by AMP’s decision.

“I’ve been waiting on some good news regarding the future of the place and so many thousands of the very keen skaters in the area have been waiting as well,” he said. “So it’s a good story all round.”

While having a recreational rink in the redevelopment was a possibility, Dr Gregg said an Olympic-sized facility was essential for the skaters and ice hockey teams who use the rink.

“A lot of skaters have grown up with the rink and they compete here so it’s very much a valued complex,” he said. “That’s why there was so much disappointment when they thought the rink might disappear.”

Future Olympic gold medallist Steven Bradbury won the 1991 Relaying World Championships at Macquarie Ice Rink when he was just 17.
Future Olympic gold medallist Steven Bradbury won the 1991 Relaying World Championships at Macquarie Ice Rink when he was just 17.

 

 

City of Ryde mayor Jerome Laxale called the decision “a great development” and thanked the tens of thousands of people who joined the campaign.

“Our job now is to ensure that the Olympic-sized rink is retained in stage one of the redevelopment,” he said.

Cr Laxale described the community response as extraordinary.

“It shows how much our community values open space,” he said. “Although it’s an ice rink, people use this site as they would usually use a park.

“It was a place where people met, it was a place where people trained, it was place where people had memories and keeping a community a facility like this … was why so many people were willing to be part of the campaign.”

But Cr Laxale said many people were still concerned the site had a 37-storey zoning.

“That’s still an issue,” he said.

The member for Ryde and NSW Finance Minister Victor Dominello called the decision “great news for the community and a victory for people power” after robust discussions with AMP Capital.

“The ice rink is a vital community asset and today’s decision will ensure it is protected and preserved for current and future generations,” he said.

 

Garry Maddox is a Senior Writer for The Sydney Morning Herald.

 

 

SOURCE:  https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/champagne-on-ice-macquarie-centre-to-keep-olympic-sized-rink-20190201-p50v2m.html

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