Coles to stay in redeveloped Shopping Village

REDFERN: The shopping mall on the corner of Cleveland and Baptist streets was sold in mid-2015 for just under $100 million to Wesfarmers, the ultimate owner of the Coles supermarket now on the site. On March 20, 2017, the Sydney City Council recommended the major redevelopment to the Central Sydney Planning Committee.

Surry Hills Shopping Village on Cleveland Street Photo: Andrew Collis
Surry Hills Shopping Village on Cleveland Street Photo: Andrew Collis

If approved there, the site will host buildings of two to seven storeys, with a basement carpark, a shopping mall and more commercial space, and up to 170 residential units above. The tallest buildings will face Marriott Street, and the lowest will face Cleveland Street. Overall, the developers are promising an above-standard environmental rating.

There is no mention of affordable housing or public housing in the council’s recommendation to the Central Sydney Planning Committee.

The local environmental plan is to change to allow for an increase in approved development height from 15 metres to up to 25 metres — with an additional 2.5 metres allowed for design excellence. While the height allowed is to be changed, there is no change to the floor space ratio.

A new public open space will be provided near the south-west corner of the site.

If approved, the site will be removed from the Baptist Street Heritage Conservation area, as the existing and future development is inconsistent with the building stock in the conservation area. However, the existing heritage frontage, which was originally a Bank of NSW site, will be protected in the redevelopment.

Given the price of apartments in inner-Sydney, this redevelopment will accelerate the gentrification of the area, known for its tough life only a few decades ago. There is already a culture clash between some public housing tenants and some of the higher income shoppers at the mall.

The site, still known to locals by its original name Redfern Mall despite the change many years back to its official title, was first bought in May 2015, by an unnamed Chinese developer, but by September that year Wesfarmers had exercised its right of first refusal and matched the price. It has partnered with the TOGA Group to undertake the redevelopment.

The site was owned by a family holding company called Ogen Nominees, which bought it 30 years ago for $6.3 million.

The Central Sydney Planning Committee determines applications for major developments with an estimated cost of more than $50 million.

The Planning Committee has seven members: the Lord Mayor of Sydney, two City of Sydney Councillors, and four people appointed by the Minister administering part 4 of the Planning Act. Two should be senior NSW government employees and the other two employed elsewhere. They should have expertise in architecture, building, civic design, construction, engineering, transport, tourism, the arts, planning or heritage.

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