Oran Park Town will soon be home to Camden's tallest building

Oran Park Podium shopping centre is about to undergo a major makeover. Picture: Jonathan Ng
Oran Park Podium shopping centre is about to undergo a major makeover. Picture: Jonathan Ng

Oran Park Podium is set to become more than just a shopping centre.

Camden Council has given Greenfields, Oran Park's developers, its seal of approval to build apartments and commercial office buildings on top of the Podium.

Greenfields originally proposed five storeys of apartments, however, in May the company submitted a new proposal to build a 12-storey apartment building instead.

The council approved an increase in the maximum building height at this section of Oran Park from 24 metres to 47 metres - 12 storeys above the Podium.

Greenfields general manager for property Mick Owens said he was happy to see the council support the plan.

"We are very pleased and we hope the community embraces what we are doing," he said.

"The apartments form an essential part of stage two of the podium."

Stage two will increase the Podium's size by 250 per cent with a large discount department store, 40 specialty shops, a market-style food court, an alfresco dining precinct, a four-storey commercial precinct and an expansion of the underground carpark from 580 cars to 1360 cars.

Mr Owens said the proposal had been years in the making.

"There has been a few phases of assessment including the public exhibition [held from May 4 to June 15, 2020]," he said.

"Last Tuesday the council formally accepted the plan but it still has a few steps before it gets the final stamp of approval.

"It still has to go through a formal gazettal with the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment."

The apartment building will be home to a mix of 146 one, two and three bedroom apartments, if approved by the department.

Back in 2018 Greenfields put forward a plan to build 20 storeys of apartments on top of the podium, however Camden Council raised concerns with the plan.

The developers then withdrew that proposal.

"I think 20 storeys was a bit too much at that time," Mr Owens said.

"It gave us time rethink the whole town centre and change it as time has gone on."

The mixed-use building, if approved, will be the first development of its kind in Camden.

"You see these kinds of developments in the city but this the first-time we will have something like this in Camden," Mr Owens said.

"We wanted stage two of the podium to bring people together - there will even be a communal meeting area for residents in the apartments on top of the podium.

"Just imagine living in an apartment and being able to catch an elevator down to work in the commercial spaces, or to the shops, or to go for a walk."

Mr Owens said there was high demand for housing alternatives in the area.

"We need the diversity," he said.

"Camden is a beautiful place and people need to have choices of where they'd like to live.

"It sounds cliche but we are trying create a shop, work, live community.

"We do have a model of the town centre in the sales office at Oran Park Town if people want to come and have a look."

The project is expected to open in October 2022, pending Department of Planning approval.