History of the New Marrickville Library project

In 1995, the former Marrickville Council (merged into Inner West Council in May 2016) purchased the old Marrickville Hospital site on the corner of Marrickville and Livingstone Roads with the intent of building new community facilities, including a library and civic centre.

Over time, however, these plans were delayed as Council concentrated on turning Tempe Lands into ten hectares of parkland, and began construction of the Annette Kellerman Aquatic Centre and Waterplay Park.

Fact sheet: History of proposed development of the former hospital site (PDF 146.2KB)

The need for a new state-of-the-art library has not changed over the years, and in fact has become more urgent as the current library is too small and cannot meet the expanding size and needs of the Marrickville community.

Planning and community consultation around the development of the site, bounded by Lilydale and Marrickville Roads, was undertaken in 2011 and 2012.

Design competition and winner

In 2011 Council invited three architects to lodge tenders and put forward their initial concepts for the new library as part of a design competition.

Community feedback on the preferred library concept design was presented to Council at its 20 March 2012 meeting. This feedback was taken into consideration when assessing the three concept designs.

Council appointed BVN Architects – concept 'Blue' design – for the project. This was the architectural firm with the highest community support.

Early works

Marrickville Council completed the initial early works on the old Marrickville Hospital site in late 2012, including:

  • Demolition and removal of two non-heritage buildings
  • Removal of hazardous material
  • Removal of some trees
  • Securing of the whole site

Recent assessments include:

EOI process

Following local government elections in September 2012, the new Council reaffirmed its commitment to build a new Marrickville Library at its meeting on 4 December 2012, identifying it as a priority project. Council resolved to proceed with its concept of a new facility that includes a larger library and much needed community and cultural facilities.

In March 2013 Council received a progress report that investigated the provision of affordable housing as part of the redevelopment.

At its December 2013 meeting, Council decided to seek expressions of interest (EOIs) from developers to maximise the value of the site. This will help to fund the new library and community spaces.

The EOI process commenced in February 2014, and closed in early April 2014.

From the EOI process, Council identified four proponents who were invited to lodge tenders.

Tender

In September 2014 Council determined what to include in the tender brief. A consultant team was engaged to prepare the necessary tender documents.

This was completed in February 2015 and was followed by a value management process to ensure the tender reflected the required outcomes for the community.

The Tender Documents were extensive and include:

  • Approximately 300 drawings explaining the works required to construct the library and community spaces, car parking, open space and restoration of the heritage Building 1.
  • Specifications for the architectural, mechanical, electrical, fire, hydraulics, civil engineering, structural engineering, facades, landscaping and acoustic works.
  • A Project Development Agreement setting out the contractual requirements to be entered into between Council and the selected developer.

The tender documents reflected the requirements set out in the Outline Specification. The works are divided into two parts:

  • Council Works (community spaces, car parking, open space, restoration of heritage Building 1)
  • Developer Works (residential buildings on the remainder of the site)

The Council Works are on precincts A and B and the Developer Works are on Precincts C, D and E. See the attached diagram below.

Also at the September 2014 meeting, Council received a report on the public exhibition and consultation process undertaken up until that point.

At the Council Meeting on 19 May 2015, Council resolved to proceed with the two-stage tender after an Expression of Interest (EOI) process under Section 55 of the Local Government Act (LGA) to redevelop the site.

Four developers emerged from the successful Expressions of Interest process.

The two-stage tender process commenced on 10 June 2015 and closed on 26 August 2015.

Masterplan

In November 2014, Council considered a revised Masterplan for the former hospital site.

The need to revise the Masterplan arose because the preferred development scenario for the site was inconsistent with the Marrickville Development Control Plan 2011.

Many of those controls and provisions in the MDCP were incompatible with the tender specification adopted by Council (after extensive community consultation) at its September 2014 meeting.

Council voted to publicly exhibit the draft amended Marrickville Development Control Plan 2011, together with diagrams to represent the changes.

The revised Masterplan is contained in the business paper.

At the 17 February 2015 Council meeting, the eight public submissions were considered, and Council voted unanimously to adopt the revised MDCP.

Unsolicited offer rejected

In March 2015, Council unanimously reaffirmed its commitment to the new library and community spaces tender process at the old Marrickville Hospital site, after an unsolicited offer to purchase the site.

Councillors agreed unanimously to reject the offer to purchase the entire site.

The unsolicited offer, from Maxma Developments, was to purchase the entire site outright for $52 million.

"And it was right and proper that this offer be brought to Council, in a full and open meeting which included public participation from interested residents," said Mayor of Marrickville Councillor Mark Gardiner.

"While all twelve Councillors voted to reject the offer – and reaffirmed our commitment to ensuring the site is an asset for the future of Marrickville – it certainly is interesting and instructive to hear from a developer how much they think the site is worth," Councillor Gardiner said.

"Now, when we proceed to the formal tender process for the redevelopment of the site, we really are fully informed as to what the actual market value is.

"This is really valuable information for Council and for all the Councillors," Councillor Gardiner said.

"I want to thank all my colleagues and also the Council staff for dealing with this unexpected twist in the long running story of the old hospital site in an open, transparent, and appropriate way," he said.

Announcement of successful developer

At an Extraordinary Meeting of Council in early October 2015, Councillors unanimously agreed that Mirvac will partner with Council in developing the old Hospital site.

To view the current status of this project, visit the main former Marrickville Hospital site page.

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