Developer Lodges ‘Medihotel’ Plans for Heritage Olympia Theatre, Sydney

Main Photo: The Olympia Theatre, Sydney

Date: April 2020

Location: Oxford Street, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Name: TBA

No. of Keys: 101

Seller: The heritage theatre has sat empty since 2015.

Buyer: Despite the effects of the coronavirus on the accommodation industry, two Sydney-based developers are pressing ahead with plans for a new hotel in the inner-city suburb of Paddington.

Developer Central Element and joint venture partner Boston Global have submitted plans for the redevelopment of the heritage-listed Olympia Theatre, located on the corner of South Dowling Street between 1-11 Oxford Street.

The application calls for the three-storey picture hall to be increased to six-storeys with an additional rooftop level featuring a food and drink premises capable of holding up to 200 people as well as two basement levels.

The proposed AUD$33 million development would see the circa 1911 building, which has undergone numerous alterations and additions over the years, partially demolished with the additional levels set back from the original facade.

The mixed-use development, overseen by Boston Global development director Jason Shepherd and St Vincent’s Hospital will see two new basements that will be created through additional excavation set to house a medical facility.

Planning documents have been lodged to the City of Sydney for the Oxford Street property which has sat vacant since 2015, used as a pop-up venue and private screening room throughout that time.

The Tonkin Zulaikha Greer-designed redevelopment, which will deliver a 101-guest room hotel, will aim to retain the building’s Federation Free Classical Style.

The existing cinema currently contains two theatres, from its use as the popular Academy Twin Cinema which operated from 1974 to 2010, which are divided by a central foyer and entrance.

Developer Central Element, led by Wayne Chivas and Shane Smollen, have operated in Sydney for over 25 years, recently delivering a spate of residential projects across the city’s North Shore.

The developer said the decision to press forward with the hotel development was based on the hotel market recovering in the next two years with strong demand being supplied by the nearby St Vincent’s Hospital rather than a reliance on tourists.

Price: Development estimated at AUD$33m

Price per Key: AUD$326,733

THPT Comment: Great to see another heritage building saved by becoming a hotel, this time in Sydney, Australia.

First Seen: The Urban Developer

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