A 136-year-old building located in the heart of Redfern, an area synonymous with Indigenous activism around civil and land rights, has been purchased by the City of Sydney for $5.3 million with plans to become a local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural hub.
The 315sq m Redfern Post Office, at 119 Redfern Street, was sold by architecture firm DKO, who will be leasing the property back on a short-term lease until late 2019.
Colliers International selling agent Trent Gallagher, who brokered the deal, said commercial property has largely bucked the slowing trend evident in the residential market with solid growth and strong sales.
The City’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander advisory panel assisted the City in the decision to purchase the building.
“Redfern has always been recognised nationwide as the epicentre of the Aboriginal Rights struggle,” Former co-chair of the City of Sydney’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Panel Millie Ingram said.
“The Aboriginal people need to always have a visible presence in Redfern.”
“A modern keeping place would serve this purpose.”
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the community had long advocated for a space to gather, share and practice the cultures of the First Peoples of Australia.
“We’ve been searching for an appropriate property for an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural space for some time and I’m pleased we’ve secured such an iconic landmark in Redfern,” Moore said.
The heritage-listed Redfern Post Office is a two-storey Victorian Italianate building with a four-storey corner clock tower which was recently renovated into commercial offices.
“This purchase is another exciting step in the Eora Journey, which has been a visionary plan to celebrate and see our living culture all across Sydney,” Co-chair of the City of Sydney’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Panel Steven Satour said.
Main image: Eora Journey includes seven major public art projects including ‘Welcome to Redfern’ by Reko Rennie and young Aboriginal artists in Redfern.