Good news! The Alexandria Hotel is soon to re-open! While this has probably been apparent to locals watching the recent activity on site, it’s great to now have official confirmation from Merivale, the owners.
It was back in 2015 when The Alex was sold to a property developer who lodged a Development Application to demolish it and build 28 apartments. A concerted campaign by locals to save this historic hotel from the wrecking ball resulted in more than 500 written objections and thousands of signatures on a petition to City of Sydney council. The application was refused and an interim heritage order was placed on the hotel.
Of course it didn’t stop there – the developers took the matter to the Land & Environment Court and over 100 people turned up to the hearing to object. In the face of such overwhelming community opposition, the developers withdrew the proposal. Over the next year they attempted several compromise proposals, including one which would have had a 7 story apartment building in the rear yard of the hotel! Continued community and council pressure led them to give up and sell the hotel to Merivale.
This has definitely been a great example of people power, but it’s been a somewhat bittersweet victory to date – the hotel was saved from the wrecking ball, but has sat idle due to logistical difficulties.
But that’s all about to change! Merivale has told us they are excited to reopen the hotel as “Backyard at the Alex”. The first stage of the re-opening will be a vibrant outdoor space to allow the ongoing restoration of the interior to continue.
The focus is on the return of the community hub that we fought to retain, rather than the destination venue that might have been expected from Merivale. Taking inspiration from a classic backyard, the hotel will be a family and dog friendly outdoor space where locals can socialise over great food and drinks in a fun, lively setting. The outdoor viewing screen will once again be available to cheer on the Sydney Swans and for other sporting events.
Backyard at The Alex will play host to rotating food trucks serving dishes from some of Sydney’s much loved food operators. The first two to take up residency will be Wholly Schnit serving a range of handmade chicken schnitzels and sides, and Firepop, specialising in Yakitori style bamboo skewers. Merivale will also be serving their pub favourites from a popup kitchen.
ARAG, REDWatch and Friends of Erskineville are running a new campaign: to build a bridge from Carriageworks to South Eveleigh. This project has been talked about for decades and now is the time to get it done.
If this is something you’d like to see, please sign the petition!
We’ve been fairly lucky in Alexandria, we’ve had very few Covid cases so far.
But just in case you haven’t quite gotten around to getting your vaccination yet, a reminder that we’ve had a bit of spike in cases lately – there’s currently some 36 active cases in postcode 2015 (Alexandria, Beaconsfield, Eveleigh) and there’s another 130 active cases in postcodes 2016 and 2017 (Redfern, Waterloo, Zetland).
There’s plenty of places near us we can get vaccinated today, currently including:
My Health South Eveleigh
Alice St General Practice
CityDoc Medical Centre (opposite Redfern Station)
Fountain Street Chemist
Quite a lot of other chemists
There’s lots of websites that will help find a place.
Residents may be interested to (virtually) attend either or both of two meetings next week.
On Tuesday 8 December, from 6pm to 7pm, Jenny Leong, Member of Newtown, will be holding a virtual meeting to discuss a proposed redevelopment of public land at Explorer Street, South Eveleigh (between Henderson Road and the railway).
Those of you who attended the ARAG meeting on Wednesday 13 May know that unfortunately the meeting was cut short and we were unable to complete the Question and Answer session with the Council staff who attended on the:
Alexandria to Moore Park Roadworks
Planned changes following the Traffic Study conducted by the Council to manage the impacts of WestCONnex on our streets.
The presentation by the Council can be found here and we invite you to submit questions to ARAG via the firstname.lastname@example.org mailbox which we will pass on to the Council.
Answers will be published on our website as soon as we receive them.
If any of your neighbours were unable to make the meeting, please encourage them to participate and ask any questions
Given the circumstances, this month’s ARAG meeting will be virtual.
The topic of the meeting will be how we as a community can support each other during this lockdown period.
The meeting will start at the usual time of 7:00pm, this coming Wednesday the 8 April.
During the meeting, please use the spacebar to unmute yourself when you’re ready to talk.
Meeting details have been sent to those on our mailing list. If you are a resident and wish to be added to the mailing list please send an email to AlexandriaResidentsActionGroup-subscribe [ @ ] yahoogroups.com.au. (You don’t need to join YahooGroups, but you do need to be on the mailing list)