A new plan for the revitalisation of the former Old Sydney Town (OST)site could see some of the original buildings retained as the hub of a huge tourist destination, incorporating a performing arts area, entertainment and attractions, retail and exhibition facilities, food and beverages, water-based activities and a hotel.
The new owner of a 120ha block at Somersby, which also includes The Australian Reptile Park, is looking for community feedback on proposed uses of the former OST site and will hold an information and feedback session on Saturday, May 25, at Wyoming Community Centre.
World Culture Tourism Village bought the site in 2018, and CEO, Guben Huang, said the company was committed to working closely with the community as it developed a detailed concept plan.
Huang made it clear that The Australian Reptile Park would continue operating as it is, with possible expansion.
The Old Sydney Town theme park operated on the site between 1975 and 2003, before closing after many years of financial losses.
“We value the Old Sydney Town site’s history and we want to deliver something here that the people of the Central Coast can be proud of, which is respectful of the past but which also provides employment, recreation and tourism opportunities for the future,” Huang said.
“We are at the start of a long and ongoing conversation with the community about the site and we look forward to hearing their feedback over the coming weeks on our initial ideas.
“In the past, the site has failed because it has been limited to a single use, stand-alone tourism destination, dispersed over a wide area.
“While we want to retain some of the Old Sydney Town buildings to create a key tourism destination that pays tribute to Sydney’s colonial past, we also believe there is an opportunity to enrich the entire site by creating new and contemporary tourism attractions and accompanying land uses.”
World Culture Tourism Village has a draft structure plan with a vision for possible future uses of the site, with a more detailed concept plan to be released later this year, following community consultation.
Key elements on which feedback will be sought include: keeping and growing the Australian Reptile Park and keeping Ploddy the Dinosaur; retaining some of the Old Sydney Town buildings to create a future tourist destination; consideration of tourism opportunities for all ages including a performing arts area, indigenous tourism and other entertainment and attractions; a bookable community facility or space for community and public events; boutique, dynamic exhibition and retail shopping opportunities; hotel and clubhouses, including wedding and event facilities; creative employment spaces; eco conservation areas and a food and beverage precinct.
The draft plan will also look at water based activities, residential living opportunities and a potential large format international retailer.
World Culture Tourism Village has an extensive history in delivering world-class projects around the globe, including resorts, hotels, office buildings, industrial parks and boutique residential developments.
Media release, May 8
Elton Consulting for World Culture Tourism Village