The Concourse – 5 yrs on

TheConcourseFive years after its completion, an independent study has been undertaken of The Concourse.

The Concourse contains:

  • the Chatswood Library (500 square metres)
  • Art Space
  • Car Park
  • Urban Screen
  • Retail Outlets including restaurants and bars
  • Performance venues and meetings facilities including the Concert Hall (1,000 seats),
    the Theatre (500 seats), the Civic Pavilion and the Studio.

Within the performing arts facility are also a Rehearsal Room, Green Room, Orchestra
Room (also used for small conferences or a break.

The study found that “The Concourse represents a major breakthrough in the model of cultural precincts in Australia. No other city in Australasia that we know of has achieved anything similar to date.

The Concourse cost $173M. It was 38% funded by the sale or lease of other Council properties; 32% from lons; 17% from Council reserves and a 10% rate hike for businesses in the Chatswood CBD.

To date, 163,000 people have attended cultural performances; 180,000 people have used the carpark and a massive 685,000 people have visited the Library.

Apart from the Library, the other functional areas within The Concourse have generated an operational surplus.

The report questioned the value of the Urban Screen and the lack of overarching management of the precinct.

In conclusion, the study found “The Concourse has been recognised as an example of innovation and planning which is highly regarded both within the local government sector and across other industries for its achievements in creating a functional public space which combines community services and performing arts with an income generating retail precinct. The Concourse Project Review acknowledges the many positive outcomes achieved by development of The Concourse, but also identifies opportunities for how the precinct can be better utilised and managed to
attract growth in usage and generate greater revenue. The recommendations in the Review
provide Council with stepping stones to achieve the future directions outlined within the
Review”.

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