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Parramatta River Transformation

Charles Street Square upgrade

Charles Street Square is officially open


With the $12m+ transformation of Charles Street Square now complete, Parramatta Quay is ready to welcome residents and visitors to a new riverfront gathering place that connects people to Parramatta’s unique stories. 

Celebrating the point where salt water and fresh water meet, Charles Street Square now offers a distinctive arrival for ferry passengers and easy-to-navigate ramps and stairs make connections between the Parramatta River and the CBD accessible to all. 

City of Parramatta’s design for Charles Street Square draws inspiration from the curved geometry of the river, the surrounding landscape, and the site’s unique history. This vibrant public space now offers a wide riverside promenade, an amphitheatre, garden terrace and city square. The design also includes more trees and garden beds.

Adding to the visitor experience, a layer of cultural heritage has been introduced through the site, with opportunities to scan small QR codes inlayed into seating to learn more about the people, places and events that have shaped Parramatta over time.

Charles Street Square was officially opened by the Lord Mayor, Cr Pierre Esber and Ms Donna Davis, Councillor and MP for Parramatta on Monday 27 November 2023. 

The major public art piece planned for Charles Street Square is scheduled to be installed in mid-2024.

Lead consultants Spackman Mossop Michaels Landscape Architects led a multidisciplinary consultant team to deliver the design, with architecture by Lahz Nimmo Architects.

Funded by the City of Parramatta Council and NSW Government

Council has dedicated significant funding to this critical project, and sought additional support from the NSW Government in order to be able to deliver a high- quality, resilient public domain for all to enjoy.

As part of the Transport Access Program and the NSW Public Spaces Legacy Program, the partnership with the NSW Government will allow the City of Parramatta to realise its ambitious plans to revitalise Parramatta Quay and transform the Parramatta City River Foreshore.

NSW Government Logo


Project Updates (Back to top)

Project Updates
  • Charles Street Square is almost here, it is an extremely complicated build on a complex site which along with inclement weather earlier in the construction program has caused some delays. However, with work expected to be completed in September, the spectacular new site is starting to shine through! The stairs and ramps alongside the river are complete and the landscaping, including surrounding the amphitheatre and some mature trees across the site, is looking great.

    The works along the river are all but complete and the site fencing is being pulled back to allow better access along the river and to the ferry.  The final design is starting to take shape along the river with the amphitheatre, shade structure, lighting, stairs and ramps, seats, trees and signage being finalised.

    The middle terrace connecting through to the new arcade under the Merriton apartments is almost complete, paving and seating are now visible.  The visitor kiosk is now taking shape, external timber finish has started and fit-out will commence shortly. A large mature Jacaranda has been installed in the centre of the plaza and planting around it has begun.

    In the upper area, the last to be finished, works are commencing on the final granite paving, walls and ramps. The services are all in and planting will begin shortly.

    Feature artwork, lighting and signage is being installed alongside completed landscape and is becoming visible from the river side.

    Come Spring Charles Street Square will be one of our City’s most popular destinations.

    July 2023 - extended hours and nightworks

    In order to complete our project, Regal Innovations Pty Ltd will be carrying out necessary extended onsite work hours at Charles Street Square.   

    Extended work hours will be scheduled between 31 July to 18 August 2023, during this time our work hours will be 6.30am to 9.30pm Monday to Sunday to allow for paving work and other finishing works to be completed. All saw cutting will take place within normal working hours 7am - 7pm with minimal nightwork disturbance after 7pm. 

    Regal Innovations will take steps to minimize other impacts on you. However, there will be some unavoidable machinery noise and we thank you for your patience as we complete these works.

    More information and construction images
  • With approximately 10 weeks until completion, the design is really starting to take shape! The stairs and ramps alongside the river are looking great, while some mature trees have now been planted.

    The underground services are all but complete, with power and drainage now being finalised. The majority of the lights have been installed and connections through to the shade structure and kiosk are also compete.

    The stairs and retaining walls are just about ready with some of the decorative components now due to be installed. The concrete and timber components of the amphitheatre are also complete and can be seen from the surrounding area.

    The shade structure frame has been installed with ongoing fit out to continue over the next few weeks. The river foreshore path has also re-opened while the new concrete paving has already improved access to the ferry wharf.

    The project has been delayed due to the complex nature of the site and early rain. Charles Street Square is now scheduled to open in late July 2023 (subject to weather).

  • With some classic summer weather after extended periods of heavy rain, work at Charles Street Square is progressing well.

    Sydney Water works are complete, and work has commenced on offsite fabrication of the visitor kiosk, public shelter and bespoke seating elements.

    Construction of the retaining walls is well advanced, and most of the footings for the various elements have been installed across the site.

    Installation of the precast seating and stairs, timber stairs and decking that will form the riverside terraces will commence in the next few weeks.

    In the coming weeks, the project will start to take shape as the precast seating, precast stairs, timber stairs, timber decking, garden beds and concrete pavement are installed.

    Charles Street Square is now scheduled for completion in mid-June 2023 (subject to weather).

    Work has been delayed by the unprecedented rainfall we have experienced over recent months.

  • Nightworks and extended hours 16 to 29 January 2023

    Our lead contractor Regal Innovations Pty Ltd in partnership with Sydney Water will be carrying out urgent work between 16 to 29 January 2023. During this time, extended work hours 7am to 7pm will be in place.

    The sewer mains running through the site are being upgraded. To ensure sewerage services in the area are not interrupted, a pump and temporary pipeline will be installed. The pump diverting the sewerage will need to be in operation 24 hours a day/7 days a week until the main line can be restored (estimated completion date 29 January).  

    Please note, there will be unavoidable disturbance on Monday 16 January between the hours of 2.30am and 6.30am when equipment necessary for the work must be installed. Work needs to be scheduled within the low tide period and when sewerage levels are at the lowest. 

    Regal Innovations will take steps to minimise disturbance. However, unavoidably there will be some machinery noise.  

    We thank you for your patience as we complete these urgent works.

  • Work at Charles Street Square continues. Some sunny days, and approval for our contractors to work extended hours, have seen the construction site start to resemble the public domain we’ve envisaged for so long.  

    Due to some unexpected complications, the Sydney Water work previously planned to end 22 December 2022 will now continue in January. 

    Holiday closures

    Construction will close down for the Christmas holiday period on 23 December with work resuming 28 December 2022.  Work on site will take a break again for New Year closing 30 December with activity resuming 3 January 2023.

    2023 work program 

    Sydney Water will begin work mid-January. Upon commencement of these works, the temporary pipelines and sewerage pump will be in operation 24-hours a day/7-days a week until the main line can be restored (expected completion mid-February subject to weather and site conditions). 

    During this time, to complete this work as quickly as possible, contractors will work extended hours: 7am to 7pm Monday to Sunday. 

    Our lead contractor, Regal Innovations, will continue to take steps to minimise noise and other disruptions. However, unavoidably, there will be some machinery noise. We thank you for your patience as we complete these urgent works.

    As we near the end of the project, (tracking for completion mid June 2023), the next phase of work will include:

    • installation of the pre-cast seating terraces
    • construction of the public shelter and kiosk building
    • creation of the garden terrace.
    • Work also continues to build new stairs and retaining walls and installing new paving. 
  • Following demolition and clearing, work at Charles Street Square has been progressing well (despite the seemingly endless rain). Behind the hoardings, the earliest signs of an attractive and accessible public space are starting to take shape. 

    From 14 November to 22 December 2022, our contractor Regal Innovations Pty Ltd will be undertaking some urgent works in partnership with Sydney Water, and will be working extended hours. 

    Extended work hours 7am to 7pm Monday to Sunday

    In order to complete this work as quickly as possible, work hours will be extended from 7am to 7pm Monday to Sunday.

    Part of the work program will require upgrades to the existing sewer mains running through the site. To ensure sewerage services in the area are not interrupted during the works, a pump and temporary pipeline will be installed. The pump diverting the sewerage will need to be in operation 24 hours a day/7 days a week until the main line can be restored. 

    Regal Innovations will take steps to minimise noise and other disruptions. However, unavoidably, there will be some machinery noise during this time. It is expected that the work requiring the temporary sewerage pump and pipeline will be completed by Friday 22 December 2022.

    We thank you for your patience as we complete these urgent works.

  • We’re excited to announce the Charles Street Square project is set to begin in late February with site establishment and further archaeological works.

    Regal Innovations Pty Ltd will be carrying out the upgrade works at Charles Street Square, Parramatta Quay. While early works are expected to begin in February, major works including demolition, will begin around 18 March 2022.

    What work will take place?

    • Demolition of existing seating, pavement and other structures, removal/relocation of existing services, site remediation etc
    • Creation of large terraces sweeping up from the ferry wharf to Charles Street providing gathering spaces across the site and opportunities for public events. Large trees, garden beds, timber decking, and an amphitheatre will create a park style feel to the area
    • New ramps, balustrades, stairs and lighting will make the ferry more accessible throughout the day and night
    • An integrated timber shade structure and ferry kiosk will provide better facilities to ferry users and allow for the delivery of an exciting new artwork which will be projected onto the facing escarpment
    • The existing public amenities will be reinstated in the upper square, adjacent to Charles Streets

    Hours of work

    Work will take place from 7.00am to 5.00pm on weekdays, and 8.00am to 2.00pm on Saturdays. No work is permitted on Sundays or Public Holidays. We will notify you separately of any works to take place outside of these hours pending Council approvals.

Design update

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The design for Charles Street Square was placed on public exhibition in March 2020. Following refinement of the design in response to community input, the proposal was endorsed by Council in May 2020.

Public exhibition of the concept design occurred between 25 February to 16 March 2020 and it is estimated that communications regarding the project reached more than 880,000 people during this period. As a result of our engagement program, eight (8) email submissions and 115 online survey responses were completed. The community also provided feedback via social media and shared their views at our dedicated community drop-in sessions.

To find out more about our engagement activities and what we heard, please read the Charles Street Square Upgrade Draft Concept Design Public Exhibition Consultation report.

You may also like to visit Council’s community engagement platform Participate Parramatta for further information.


Review of Environmental Factors (REF) and Revised REF

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A REF is part of the planning process known as Part 5 under the EP&A Act. As part of the REF, the City of Parramatta was required to fully assess the potential environmental impacts of Charles Street Square both during construction and after completion.

The REF was placed on public exhibition in October 2020, it identified a range of environmental safeguards and mitigations to protect archaeology, preserve water quality, ensure flood resilience, maintain local habitat and respond to other potential environmental risks.

The City of Parramatta reviewed feedback on the REF provided by the community and stakeholders including NSW Government agencies and utilities, and made further refinements to the design for Charles Street Square. A Revised REF was released in early 2021.

The project is also directly liaising with relevant utilities to ensure all approvals are secured and that their requirements are incorporated into the site design and construction.

Project information including consultation around the design and REF can be found on Participate Parramatta

Contact us

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For more information and construction images, see

If you have any questions you can get in touch with our Charles Street Square Project Team on 1300 617 058 or at

You can also subscribe to receive project updates via email by contacting the team.

For after hours or emergencies related to the construction site, please contact Regal Innovations on 0432 666 743.

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