Marrickville could soon be getting one of Australia’s largest creative arts hubs planned by the owners of a group of warehouses in inner-city Sydney.
Danias Holdings is the long-time owner of the Rich Street industrial site adjacent to the Factory Theatre. It was previously used to store surplus stock for the company's nearby timber yard, Danias Timber. The site is currently used for storage and work spaces by about a dozen local people.
The company is seeking to have the site rezoned from industrial. The developer's proposal to have 18-hectares of industrial land it owned around the Victoria Road precinct in Marrickville last year is still before the Department of Planning and Environment.
The development application was lodged with the Inner West Council on Monday for three new buildings that would provide a creative and commercials industries centre nearly 500 artists. The expected cost of the project is nearly $50 million.
Three new buildings with flexible working spaces, cafes and a park would be built. The purpose-built precinct would provide over 13,000 square metres of floor space for a wide range of creatives.
A rooftop bar and exhibition space is proposed for the tallest of the three buildings, which would be five-storeys high. Open space is expected to comprise 37 per cent of the site.
“At the moment we’ve got about 12,500 square metres of space that about 10 or 15 people are using,” Danias Holdings general manager Angelo Angelopoulos told Domain. “[Marrickville] is this inner city fringe area that’s sort of been forgotten about.
“This is a really exciting opportunity to bring artists together and show what they can do,” he said. “[Marrickville] could be the Brooklyn of Sydney.”
Deb Morgan, artistic director from Create or Die, has been involved in the community consultation for the project. Although Morgan acknowledged that Danias had alternative commercial interests, she maintained that the developer wanted to create a thriving arts hub.
It’s an amazing thing, for a developer to be actively seeking advice and consultation with the artists on the ground. They are creating a purpose-built arts and creative hub which will be a permanent and long-term home for artists of all disciplines."
The precinct, however, would rely upon the approval of the larger proposed Victoria Road Precinct.
Various landowners are seeking to rezone 18 hectares of industrial land for medium- and high-density dwellings, mixed use and business development.
Around 1100 new dwellings would be built by 2036 – mainly on additional land owned by Danias Holdings, including their timber yard. It’s expected that 80 per cent of the Victoria Road Precinct would be reserved for business use.
A council spokesperson said: “Council’s position is that valuable and increasingly scarce industrial land in the inner west needs to be protected – and that includes arts and creative industries spaces.”
A Department of Planning and Environment spokesperson said the department is assessing the proposal and would consider all matters raised during community consultation including those raised by Inner West Council.
[Related reading: Mirvac to Deliver Mixed-Use Development on Landmark Sydney Site]There is a lot of interest in Marrickville for developers as an area set for transition.
Mirvac will deliver a new residential development, library and community facilities on the site of the former Marrickville Hospital. The development will include approximately 220 apartments across three buildings, plus a landmark public library and community hub for Marrickville Council.