The discontent surrounding the iconic Sirius Building at Sydney’s The Rocks continues after full-page ads for the building’s redevelopment into luxury apartments was labelled as tone deaf considering its previous history as social housing.
The building, famed for its brutalist design, was built in 1978 to provide affordable social housing for public tenants.
In 2019, the Berejiklian government booted the last of the tenants out – despite considerable protests – and sold the building to property developers for a reported $150 million.
Last week, the developer, JDH Capital, released plans to turn the building – which it now calls ‘Sirius Sydney Harbour’ – into luxury apartments complete with infinity pools, garden terraces and price tags for the top pads approaching $12 million!
On Friday, a four-page glossy lift-out was printed in Nine’s The Australian Financial Review advertising “private appointments” for potential buyers. Nine has not publicly commented on the ads.
— Philip Thalis (@PhilipThalis) May 13, 2021
Neither the newspaper ad or the website for the new development mentioned the building’s previous history as social housing.
However, the ads have infuriated those who fought to retain the building for its original purpose as well as social housing advocates.
Ben Peake, who led the the Save Our Sirius campaign, led the chorus of complaints against the marketing of the new apartments: “It feels gross because it is stained with what we have done to the people who lived there,” he said, his comments reported on The Guardian.
“We kicked out a 92-year old blind woman and turned her apartment into a multimillion-dollar house. And we rushed her out. The government squeezed her into a house she couldn’t properly access,” Peake said.
The apartments aren’t expected to be finished by the end of 2022 and will feature commercial and retail spaces for restaurants and interiors by UK designer Kelly Hoppen who’s worked with the likes of David Beckham and Boy George.
According to reports there’s already a long list of buyers waiting to place their bids when the apartments go up for sale later this month.
JDH’s development director John Green telling The Australian: “It has so many attributes – fantastic views, looking right at the Harbour Bridge, the Opera House, the city and out to the heads,” he said.
“It was also long and slim, so I knew once we had arranged the apartments internally we could get front and back crossflow apartments – it is rare to have windows on both sides,” Green said.
You can check out some of the developer’s images of the re-designed building below:
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