Monday, 30 October 2017

1997: Big Screens for central Sydney

Times Square in New York is famous for its array of advertising billboards and big screens screening television broadcasts and animations.

In the 1990s, Sydney City Council explored the idea of permitting big screens to show advertising but also broadcast major events like the Olympic Games.

Source: Skelsey, M. 1997. "Hole lot of sense to video", The Daily Telegraph, December 26: 15. 

But I recall the idea was ditched because motorists would be "too distracted" by the activity. Interesting though. In Times Square, the traffic flows smoothly and chances are people if distracted might stop their cars altogether.

Above: The Yellow M&M is unhappy with the lack of attention given by motorists at 1600 Broadway, New York (Times Square). Drivers are doing the right thing keeping their eyes on the road!!!

I've seen footage from September 11 taken at Times Square and cars did stop for a few seconds for people to see the graphic footage that was shown on the ABC (America) big screen.

But really the main audience is the pedestrians and keep in mind, that no street corner was destined to become like Times Square with billboards on every square inch of space. It was merely going to be one screen at each location.

With the corner of George and Park Street, it was assumed that the site was going to remain undeveloped by the Olympic Games in 2000 (2 Park Street was in fact almost finished). Whether or not they were going to incorporate it into the structure. Who knows?

Had they become reality, they might have been short term with the intention of dismantling them after the Olympic games. It had been proposed in a December 1998 article in The Daily Telegraph, that it would be there for 2001. The screen would be 7.5 metres by 4.5 metres.

Downtown Sydney has tended to be a billboard free zone on city buildings. Even today, it is like that. In Sydney, they are restricted to the motorways, major highways and around Sydney Airport.

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Property Advert of the Week: Ingleburn land release (1972)

This week, we head to Ingleburn. One needed $8000 in 1972 to secure their block of land at Ingleburn.

  Ingleburn ad April 22 1972 daily telegraph 48

Source: Landfiners Pty. Lid. 1972. "Grand Opening - Ingleburn" (Advertisement). The Daily Telegraph, April 22: 48.

Monday, 23 October 2017

1989: The start of Nightride Services

Younger generations like mine (Generation Y) are accustomed to using late night bus services to get home from the city after a night out.

In the 1980s trains services did operate after midnight in Sydney. In 1989, the NSW Government made a controversial decision to replace late night rail services with Nightride Buses. It was in response to concerns over violence on trains at night but also to reduce operating costs.

Source: Nicholson, L. "All stations go for travellers: Buses to run taxi service". The Daily Telegraph, May 26: 5.

It was phased in two stages with a trial implemented on the Illawarra, East Hills and Bankstown Lines during June and July. By July, late night rail services on those lines ceased.

Source: Ministry for Transport (NSW). 1989. "Midnight to Dawn Services: Nightride" (Advertisement). The Daily Telegraph, July 21: 19.

Below is a timetable that was published in The St George and Sutherland Shire Leader.

Source: Ministry for Transport (NSW). 1989. "Midnight to Dawn Transport Services: Night-Ride"(Advertisement). The St George and Sutherland Shire Leader, July 25, 30.

Source: . Anon. 1989. "Night Trains replaced". The St George and Sutherland Shire Leader, June 6: 7.

The opposition were not too impressed. Shadow Transport Minister Brian Langton (ALP, Kogarah) raised concerns that buses would not cope with demand

Source: Philpott, P. 1989. "Nightride bus claim refuted by minister". The St George and Sutherland Shire Leader, July 6, 2.

When initially announced, the reaction from late night commuters was not positive citing that buses added extra travel time, safety concerns and would be forced to travel in taxi's for some or all of their journeys. The article above highlighted a weakness in the Nightride System - Many stations missed out on Nighride services altogether. Note that Penshurst, Mortdale and Gymea have since been added to the Nightride Bus Network. 

Those that were happy claimed that they felt safer on buses (research shows that you are less likely to be a victim of crime on a bus than a train). 

By the end of the year, it had been introduced on remaining lines.

Source: Ministry for Transport (NSW). 1989. "Midnight to Dawn Transport Service: Nightride". The Daily Telegraph, October 27: 14.

One advantage of the Nightride Network was the ability for buses to serve suburbs without rail stations including Sylvania and the Parramatta Road corridor. Some suburbs with rail stations ended up having non station stops.

Fast forward three decades later, the Nightride Network has expanded. Services now operate from Town Hall to Richmond (N71) and Carlingford (N61) along with Railway Square to Bondi Junction (N100)

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Property Advert of the Week: 57 Gerrale Street, Cronulla (1968)

In 1968, $11990 bought you an apartment across the road from Cronulla Beach with ocean views. 

Cronulla units June 22 1968 daily telegraph 42

Source: Palnor. 1968. "Ocean Front Units Cronulla" (Advertisement). The Daily Telegraph, June 22: 42.

Recently, unit owners in the complex along with those at 49-51 Gerrale Street managed to combine together to sell their apartments for an average of $1.7million to real estate developers. Brilliant return if you had bought off the plan. 

Under current planning guidelines, Sutherland Council would allow a building of up to nine levels on the site, which is generally the maximum allowed in central Cronulla. However, the council may change this given its willingness to consider buildings in excess of that height within Cronulla like a proposal for a 21 level hotel on the Kingsway.  

Monday, 16 October 2017

MILESTONE: Westfield Eastgardens turns 30 (1987)

Above: Two page spread from The Southern Courier in October 1987

Back in 2015, I provided an overview of the opening of Westfield Eastgardens in 1987.

To mark its 30th anniversary, I have managed to scan through copies of the Southern Courier which ran a series of features and advertisements to promote the opening of the centre. The centre was officially opened on October 19, 1987, with 1300 guests invited despite global share markets collapsing around them.

Sydney's "A" list stars were in attendance. NSW Governor Sir James Rowland, John Saunders and Frank Lowy (Westfield) presided over proceedings.  Interest in leasing the space was high with 750 applications made to lease retail space.

Above: Advertisement published in The Southern Courier on October 28, 1987, promoting transport options to the new centre. Some locals were initially unimpressed with transport options.

When the centre opened to the public on October 21, there were protests, but not about the centre itself. Fifty locals protested against changes to bus services in the area. Some services serving the area faced the axe while services to Eastgardens from nearby suburbs were inadequate.

Above: Two advertisements promoting the opening of the Super Kmart Store at Eastgardens as published in The Southern Courier in October 1987.

Super Kmart was unique to Eastgardens. It was a hypermart combining a discount department store and supermarket under one roof, modeled on hypermarts in the United States like Walmart, Target (USA) and Kmart (USA). In 1989, the Super Kmart brand was dropped by parent company Coles Myer. The space was divided into two, forming the current Coles and Kmart stores seen today.

Here were some of the opening specials at Super Kmart:

Below are advertisements for Target and David Jones:

Two years ago I had commented about the impact of the centre on Maroubra Junction retailers. Westfield was confident that normal trading conditions would return to the area, but did not eventuate. Not even the presence of Grace Bros at Marboura Junction helped. Grace Bros fell victim itself!!!

Recently, I went for a drive to Eastgardens. The 1987 signage is still visible today.

And another two advertisements that I found that were published in the lead up to Opening Day.

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Property Advert of the Week: "Guaranteed High Returns" at Kirribilli (1996)

Something different this week. In 1996, Home Unit Headquarters promised investors 8% annual returns on apartments in a new project being built at Kirribilli. 

Kirribilli apartments ad June 22 1996 SMH 11RE

Source: Home Unit Headquarters. 1996. "Guaranteed High Returns" (Advertisement). The Sydney Morning Herald, June 22: 11 (Real Estate Lift out). 

Monday, 9 October 2017

1990: Pyrmont Redevelopment Scheme

Source: Olsen, L. 1990. "$10bn city facelift: Master plan to develop Pyrmont". The Daily Telegraph, September 26: 9.  

In 1990, the State Government of Nick Greiner was intent on urban renewal on the Pyrmont Peninsula, following the decades-long decline in manufacturing and port operations to suburban centres. The residential population of the Pyrmont/Ultimo area had collapsed from 19 000 at the start of the 20th century to just 1500.

It was not to be undertaken overnight and believed it would take 20 years for the plan to be fulfilled.

Heritage wharves were retained e.g. Wharf Five. It is now Doltone House.

Harris Street was meant to be a "showpiece", but did they mean in terms of heritage protection or being a destination to shop and/or dine?

Jacksons Landing at Pyrmont is the biggest of the brownfields developments to occur on the Pyrmont Peninsula. It took more than a decade for the former CSR site to be turned into a high density residential estate. That included the waterfront housing.

The old power station was destined to be an office complex but ended up being the site of Sydney's first Casino.

In light of all the changes, heritage buildings have been lovingly restored:

In the 1990 scheme, it was envisioned that housing would line the entire waterfront. However as the decade progressed, this was largely zoned as public land, creating Pyrmont Park. When the Water Police left Pyrmont, Sydney City Council turned it into Pirrama Park.

Recently, I visited the City of Sydney planning model at Sydney City Council offices in Kent Street and managed to get a model shot based on the angle taken in 1990. Note that the model of The Star is not present as a Development Application for the proposed Ritz Carlton Hotel tower is being created.

Despite amendments to the plans, Pyrmont has become a highly sought inner city address. It has also thrived as a popular address on the city fringes for businesses to be located, particularly media firms.

All photos were taken by the author.

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Property Advert of the Week: The Colonnades, Milsons Point (1999)

This week, I go back to the pre-olympic wave of residential development at Milsons Point. In 1999, apartments were on sale in the complex. Sadly, it would just miss the Olympic Games for completion. 

  Colonnades Milsons Point June 5 1999 SMH 11RE

Source: Colliers Jardine, 1999. "Fabulous Harbourfront Milsons Point" (Advertisement). The Sydney Morning Herald, June 5: 11 (Real Estate Liftout). 

The building just has that Flatron Building appearance when you look at it from the eastern side as this photo I took in 2003 shows.

Monday, 2 October 2017

1985: Rare Preview Feature on Australia's Wonderland

Just three months before Australia's Wonderland opened in 1985, The Daily Telegraph went inside "the Down Under version of Disneyland".

Source: Coombs, R. 1985. "A Down Under land of wonder". The Daily Telegraph, August 24: 23 & 23. 

Australia's Wonderland traded until April 24, when the site was redeveloped into a business park. There are plans for the theme park to be resurrected at a site in Western Sydney. 

It never evolved into the Aussie Disneyland that was envisioned. 

As a bonus, below is a video containing rare footage from opening day in December 1985, plus a short history of the theme park. It was presented as Seven News Flashback Report by Mark Ferguson in 2013 on Seven News.