The City of Sydney Has Unveiled Plans to Reignite Oxford Street With Increased Culture and Entertainment Spaces
The plan proposes the introduction of rooftop bars and the activation of unused alleyways.
Oxford Street is set to be transformed through major building upgrades and a push from the City of Sydney to return the CBD cultural hub to its former bustling self. The city council's plan is designed around creating more floor space across Oxford Street and surrounding areas, and in turn, more space for employment and cultural activities. Multi-storey extensions to buildings, rooftop bars, transformation of basements and revitalised alleyways are all on the cards as part of the proposal to revitalise the area.
"It's one of our greatest and best-known streets but it has faced significant troubles in the recent past," said Lord Mayor Clover Moore. "The construction of massive shopping centres at either end of the strip and online shopping has hurt its retailers, the lock-outs have hurt its bars and clubs and the clearway has created fast flowing through-traffic that has made it a less pleasant place to be." But Moore is confident the City of Sydney can work with developers and members of the Oxford Street community to breathe new life into the strip.
Under the proposal, a potential 42,500 square metres of employment floor space and 11,000 square metres of new creative and cultural floor space could become available across Oxford Street.
Moore also indicated preserving Oxford Street's role as a hub for the LGBTQIA+ community, protecting its heritage architecture and achieving visibility of First Nations cultures and stories are all top priorities, expressing that "the community has made it clear that we need to preserve and celebrate Oxford Street's history as a sacred walking track for the Gadigal and the heart of Sydney's LGBTIQ community, while safeguarding its future, particularly as we ready to welcome World Pride 2023."
The announcement of this planned redevelopment of the beloved Sydney street comes at a time of change for the area. Back in March, a development plan was revealed to transform three of the street's busiest buildings into a $60 million food retail and cultural precinct. Just a few months before that, it was announced Kinselas and the Courthouse Hotel would be merged into one multimillion-dollar mega-venue and Sydney's first 24 Hours Hotel would be coming to Darlinghurst.
Top image: Jeffrey Feng
Published on May 21, 2021 by Ben Hansen