NSW greyhound racing ban opens inner city residential development possibilities

NSW greyhound racing ban opens inner city residential development possibilities
NSW greyhound racing ban opens inner city residential development possibilities

Wentworth Park heads the housing developer's golden egg inner city development site prospects after the decision of the NSW government to ban greyhound racing.

It could lead to its eventual sale, along with many of the other dog tracks across the state.

With Wentworth Park's proximity to the Sydney CBD, the four hectares could fetch $160 million plus with keen competition tipped to send it soaring possibly higher.

Developer's won't be just the only buyers sitting in the abandoned 10,000-capacity race track stadium dreaming of buying, as interest is also likely from nearby universities wishing to expand their campuses.

Entrepreneurial sporting codes wanting to develop a new sports arena will be hovering, perhaps returning to the site which has previously hosted sports including rugby league and speedway in decades past.

Even Clover Moore's City of Sydney will want the race track, which sits on Crown land, to see it returned to a foreshore park. Zoning and density will be key determinants on any sale price. 

And the government late yesterday promised there will be no residential and commercial use for the track. 

 

"It would be open space and [for] community use,"a spokesman for Premier Mike Baird said in a surprise response. 

Mirvac's $187 million purchase in 2010 of nearby the Harold Park Raceway set the price benchmark when it secured its 10 hectare plot which has become a $1 billion Glebe residential hub where the first release of its 1250 homes had 45 sqm studios selling at $499,000.

The Wentworth Park site could possibly hold around 800 apartments and terraces.

The NSW government's White Bay Power Station redevelopment in Sydney's inner-west recently attracted 13 tenders, showing keen commercial space buying interest, but none were accepted.

Even the regional dog race tracks are worth a considerable amount, but not all are government owned. Dapto Agricultural & Horticultural (A&H) Society Inc own the Dapto course. Others are privately owned or by local councils. There are some tracks including the Yagoona based Potts Park which have previously attracted developer interest. 

Access Economics noted that the greyhound industry had been a key feature in regional areas, some dating back many decades in prime locations such as the Hasting River club at Wauchope which commenced in the 1950s.

Greyhound Racing NSW's last property purchase was a 2014 acquisition of $1.2 Wyee property called the Playhouse Pet Motel used as a facility to give dogs a post-racing adopted future.

It also purchased The Gardens sporting complex at Wallsend which was previously home to the National Soccer League team, Newcastle Breakers.

But The Gardens was still not ever financially viable.

The 3.95 hectare sporting complex at Wentworth Park in Glebe has its property, plant, grandstand, racetrack and equipment valued at $50,963,000 (nett) in recent financial statements.

It is on the books at a $96 million gross carrying value.

The area was originally the swampy mouth of the creek known as Black Wattle or Blakwattle Creek.

The swamp was polluted by various noxious industries which led to the swamp being filled due to the stench of the water.

Filling was completed in 1860 and by 1882 ovals, greens, paths, lakes were named after NSW statesman, William Charles Wentworth

It wasn't until October 1932 that greyhound racing began in the park. 

In 1979 the then ruling body, the National Coursing Association applied to construct a large new grandstand which was completed in 1985.

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