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Professor Ed Blakely from the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, Managing Director of Leighton Properties, Mark Gray, Lord Mayor Cr John Chedid, UWS Vice-Chancellor Professor Barney Glover, Cr Andrew Wilson and Cr Steven Issa at the announcement.

Parramatta Square has been selected by the University of Western Sydney as its preferred site to deliver the University’s new flagship campus tower in the heart of Parramatta’s central business district.

The selected site, 169 Macquarie Street, is part of one of Australia’s biggest urban renewal projects and will turn Parramatta into a true university city.

UWS has signed a heads of agreement with Leighton Properties Pty Ltd to deliver the project. Leighton Properties has signed an option agreement to acquire the 4,132sqm site at 169 Macquarie Street from Parramatta City Council.

The proposed new campus, to be built and owned by Leighton Properties, will cover 26,000 square metres over 14 storeys, and will be home to over 10,000 students.

Lord Mayor Cr John Chedid said he was delighted UWS had selected the first stage of the $2 billion Parramatta Square project – known as ‘1PSQ’ or ‘One Parramatta Square’ – as the preferred site to build the new CBD campus.

Cr Chedid said Council would sell the site to Leighton, which will provide innovative public domain facilities for community use.

“I congratulate UWS and Vice-Chancellor Professor Barney Glover on this visionary move that will further boost Parramatta’s reputation as a smart city based on centres of excellence in research, education and technology,” Cr Chedid said.

“We know great universities strengthen great cities – and this is a major milestone in our vision for Parramatta Square, helping make Parramatta a true city of the 21st Century.

“As the first major tenant in Parramatta Square, UWS will help to boost private sector interest in future stages of the project.”

I would especially like to thank Professor Blakely, John Elvy, Greg Dyer, Steve Simat, Barry Mann, Antony Anisse, Martin Mambraku and his team for supporting our vision and direction. They laid the groundwork towards the end of last year and have provided me and the Chamber with sage advice on the best development options for Parramatta Square.

Managing Director of Leighton Properties, Mr Mark Gray, said it is an exciting time for Leighton Properties, as 1PSQ is the catalyst to the Parramatta Square master plan and will make an iconic contribution to the Parramatta central business district.

UWS Vice-Chancellor, Professor Barney Glover, says Leighton Properties was selected as the preferred development partner based on the strength of the building’s design, flexibility and prominence.

“The University’s plan to develop a high-rise campus is an important milestone in UWS’s history,” said Professor Glover. “We look forward to working with both Leighton Properties and Parramatta City Council to progress the final details for presentation to the UWS Board of Trustees at the end of August for its final consideration and approval.”

Students will benefit from excellent public transport links including the planned Western Sydney Light Rail Network. The building itself will blend innovative state of the art technology with the latest collaborative learning spaces for teaching. Construction work is expected to begin in early 2015 and be completed for the first university semester in 2016