It’s been in the works for at least two years, but the urgent need to stimulate the state’s post-virus economy has prompted the NSW government to fast-track the planned redevelopment of the Sydney Fish Market site in Glebe. The $750 million project will now break ground within eight weeks, with the aim of completing works by 2024.
The ambition of the development is hard to overstate. The entire harbourside area, which is currently a rather inaccessible, industrial corner of Blackwattle Bay, will be transformed into a bustling commercial precinct that authorities hope will become a major draw for tourists and Sydneysiders alike. At its heart, a purpose-built market building will be created adjacent to the current markets, at the eastern end of the bay.
The striking design, by Danish architectural practice 3XN, features an undulating roof made of exposed timbre and aluminum, which has the rather apt appearance of fish scales. There will also be a spacious waterside promenade and a grand amphitheatre on its eastern edge, facing the city skyline, as well as shops, kiosks and eateries.
The construction project will generate 700 new jobs in Sydney, and once complete, it’s hoped the market will become a new tourist hotspot in the city. It’s estimated that between three and six million tourists a year will visit the new Fish Markets when it finally opens to the public in four years' time. In the meantime, the existing markets will continue to operate in its current premises, although this site will be redeveloped as well once the operations transfer to the new building.