Monday, 27 February 2017

1965: What the Hurstville Super Centre might have been

Hurstville Central is the shopping centre located right above Hurstville Railway Station. It is a busy commuter shopping centre that was once known as the Hurstville Super Centre.

It is currently a one level shopping centre, containing a Coles Supermarket and food retailers to cater for commuters using the railway station and transport interchange. There is a rooftop carpark above with medical centre

The Centre has traded since 1965 and was seen as essential to reviving Hurstville's retailing precinct, which was being threatened by the opening of shopping complexes at Miranda (Miranda Fair) and Roselands.

Source: Super Centre Development Corporation Limited. 1961. "Hurstville Super Centre Limited" (Advertisement). The St George and Sutherland Shire Leader, April 26: 10. 

Original plans from the early 1960s called for much more believe it or not. This included:

  • Extra parking
  • "Prestige" shopping level above the existing shopping centre.
  • Offices
  • Apartments (Approximately six levels)

At the time of the opening of stage one in 1965, customers were promised a lot more in the future than the fifty shops and rooftop carpark that they were getting. 

Source: Anon. 1965. "This is It! The Start of a new era in shopping convenience" (Advertisement). The St George and Sutherland Shire Leader: 30 & 31.

Even in 1970, there will still hope it would proceed as per original plans:

Source: Anon. 1970. "Scheme Still Alive". The St George and Sutherland Shire Leader, May 27: 7.

The development was never built further than stage one. In the 1970s, Westfield was built nearby including the arcade that links it with Forest Road. By the 1990s the centre went into a gradual decline. Even Franklins (which had replaced Coles) disappeared. By the mid-2000s the centre was desolate with large areas vacant and the structure itself in a bad state. Proposals were changed yet never saw the light of day. I took these photos in 2006 which show its bad condition.

A change of ownership a decade ago saw a major interior upgrade of the cent. As part of the process, it was rebranded as Hurstville Central. Coles returned and the centre itself is doing quite well with most spaces occupied. Below are several photos of the current centre from 2008.

What if?

You might be asking yourselves the What If? question. This is what I think might have happened had the development proceeded.

  • More flexible highrise development in Hurstville's CBD on both the Kogarah Council and Hurstville Council sides. The presence of the highrise unit blocks would have given the incentive to build. While Hurstville contains its fair share of highrises today, maybe we might have seen a few more. 
  • The Super Centre would probably have declined in status as time went along. Space to expand would have been limited i.e -built to Ormonde Parade with limited room for expansion into Forest Road.
  • Struggled to get tenants for it's "prestige" shopping floor. Hurstville is traditionally seen as a working-class suburb and getting some high-end boutiques into Hurstville might have been tough.

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Property Advert of the Week: Opus 1 Bondi Junction (1998)

This week, we head to Bondi Junction where $315 000 bought you an apartment in the Opus 1 Tower in 1 Adelaide Street in 1998. Westfield Bondi Junction was yet to be expanded, but within a few years, it would come right to their door.

Opus1 Bondi Junction June 11 1998 SMH 17RE

Source: PRD Reality. 1998. "Feel the Rhythm of Sydney" (Advertisement). The Sydney Morning Herald, June 11: 17 (Real Estate Liftout). 

And as a bonus, a photo of the building taken by yours truly.

Monday, 20 February 2017

1989: Teething Problems at Darling Harbour

Setting up anything (in general) or building something will always create teething problems. Darling Harbour was no different. One year after its official opening in 1988, The Sunday Telegraph looked back at the first year of the Darling Harbour redevelopment.

Source: Broekhulise, P. 1989. "A Year On, and Nothing's Changed!". The Sunday Telegraph, May 7: Page Unknown. 

The headline does not reflect the true nature of the article in saying that nothing has changed in a year, particularly in its opening year. Maybe the headline might have worked the following year if they wanted to compare 1989-1990 with 1988-1989.

Despite concerns about the structures, overbudgeting and failure to get key facilities and attractions open in time, authorities had believed that it had become a hit with Sydneysiders.

Its biggest success happened to be after hours when crowds flocked in, but people were not keen on visiting during regular work hours. Transport access was a key issue (in fact still is today), and there no bus or ferry services serving the area at that point in time, though this would be remedied during the 1990s.

Attracting tourists was another key challenge and a marketing unit had to be set up to address this. You can only assume by the numbers of tourists visiting the area today, that it has been overcome. Locals like myself also step in through word of mouth and actually take visitors from elsewhere to visit. On normal weekdays, it may still feel quiet, but not as quiet as in the past. You do see some people making the 10-minute trek from the Sydney CBD to have their lunch at a cafe or restaurant.

Monorail patronage was identified as not meeting targets and not helped by the fact that some stations in the CBD were holes in the ground awaiting major construction.

One aspect that is not looked is the urban renewal of the Pyrmont Peninsula because Darling Harbour would act as a catalyst for the redevelopment of that part of the city. Darling Harbour would provide the open spaces, shopping, and dining that the residents would need.

And just over at Cockle Bay and the streets surrounding Darling Harbour to the east- they were undergoing significant changes as hotels, offices, and (later) apartments would be built, providing another source of people for the area. The western parts of central Sydney were only being discovered. Now its become the new downtown.

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Property Advert of the Week: Parkes are Best (1966)

Here is an interesting advertisement from Parkes Developments in 1966 promoting land sales in various suburbs across the Sydney metropolitan area. 

Parkes Ad April 9 1966 daily telegraph 35

Source: Parkes Developments Pty Ltd. 1966 "Forget the Rest; Parkes Are Best". The Daily Telegraph, April 9: 35. 

Monday, 13 February 2017

2000: The Pioneers of Pyrmont (Daily Telegraph Feature)

The Daily Telegraph visited Pyrmont in mid 2000 to report on how urban renewal was shaping the area.

While the focus on the growth in the residential population (increased from 3000 to 5000)  it did refer to the area ascending to be come the city's Silcon Valley as information technology firms descended into the area. This was occuring just after the Tech Bubble had burst.

Fast forward to now, the Sydney CBD itself seems to attracting the firms themselves as this report from The Sydney Morning Herald  last year shows. They want to be located near services and transport plus some of their talent prefer to work downtown.

It was already a hub for media, but since 2000, has established itself further. Many of Sydney's radio stations broadcast from Pyrmont including NOVA, 2GB, 2UE, 2CH and 2SM. The Seven Network also moved its corporate headquarters into Pyrmont in the years following 2000.

Compare the transport and services provided downtown as opposed to Pyrmont. Dozens of routes serve the Sydney CBD, but only the 389 and 501 serve Pyrmont. Pyrmont is served by light rail which connects with heavy rail services at Central and Dulwich Hill, but does not served by heavy rail.

There is no more monorail either which stopped at Darling Harbour, pulled down in 2013.

The other big change was the rise of dining with cafes and restaurants making an appearance. You walk around Harris Street today, and you'll be greeted to a wide variety of cafes and restaurants to cater to a wide variety of tastes. That has grown immensely even more since 2000.

Readers were reminded that many changes were ahead including the massive Jacksons Landing Development which would take until early the next decade to complete.

Read more from the original article below.

Source: Casey, M. 2000. "Pioneers of Pyrmont". The Daily Telegraph, August 5: 38-39. 

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Property Advert of the Week: Parkview Towers, Pyrmont (1995)

This week, our property advertisement of the week dates back to 1995. It was for Parkview Towers in Wattle Street, Pyrmont which was built by Meriton.

Parkview Towers Pyrmont June 24 1995 SMH 85

Source: Meriton Premier Apartments. 1995. "Parkview Towers" (Advertisement). The Sydney Morning Herald, June 24: 85. 

Monday, 6 February 2017

1996: Rare Sunday Telegraph Article on Gladys Berejiklian

With Gladys Berejiklian recently gaining the job as Premier of NSW, I am reminded of this article that I found several years ago from when she had been elected as President of the Young Liberals in NSW in 1996.

In newspaper profiling the Premier in recently, you do see the images of her in the outfit that you see below, but was surprised that the photo below of her standing on the steps of Parliament House in Macquarie Street was not featured.

Source: Van Den Nieuwenhof, L. 1996. "Gladys prepares to fight for Libs". The Sunday Telegraph, November 3: 60. 

At the time, she was only 26 years old and wanted to use her appointment to the role to highlight the issues of youth e.g. Generation X. She was asked to comment on the recent debate on immigration as highlighted by Federal MP (now One Nation Leader & Queensland Senator) Pauline Hanson just two months before. Despite her Armenian heritage, she felt at the time there needed to be a restriction on the number of immigrants permitted into Australia each year.

Very few people reading this article were thinking back in 1996 that Gladys would end up running the nations premier state, but it was a sign of things to come. A politician of the future was in the grooming.

The staffer for (then) NSW Opposition Leader Peter Collins, would end up succeeding him as the Member for Willoughby in 2003 when Collins retired from politics. She worked her way up through the shadow cabinet.  When the Liberals gained power in 2011, she became Transport Minister. Under Mike Baird (2014-17), she ascended to the role of treasurer and when he retired last month, endorsed her to lead the Liberals. On January 23, the party room elected her as Premier in a unanimous vote.

Her appointment as Premier also makes her the first woman to lead a Liberal Party Government in any Australian State Parliament, and the second woman to lead a government in NSW.

The stereotypes were being bulldozed then? I hope even more can be bulldozed now.  Will she finally bulldoze the negative stereotypes of women leading in politics that sections of the media has created under the leadership of others i.e. Clover Moore, Julia Gillard and Christine Nixon? I hope so. Gender does not shape how one leads. It's the decisions that a leader makes that defines their ability to lead.

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Property Advert of the Week: Pioneer Homes Advertisement (1992)

Property Advert of the week is back for 2017. This week, I share with you a 1992 advertisement for Pioneer Homes as published in The Daily Telegraph Mirror.

Pioneer Homes Ad January 18 1992 Daily Telegraph 52

Source: Pioneer Homes. 1992. Untitled (Advertisement). The Daily Telegraph Mirror, January 18: 52.