It is billed as a vibrant new inner city laneway – in every way but name.
A row of 16 heritage-listed terraces and two warehouses are being transformed into what its developer calls ”Sydney’s first dedicated laneway precinct” as part of the redevelopment reshaping Chippendale.
But the address for the future array of restaurants, cafes, galleries and bars is set to remain Kensington Street, after Frasers Property abandoned a proposal to change its name to ”Kensington Lane”.
The dilapidated row of buildings, including some of Sydney’s oldest surviving terraces dating from the 1840s, is part of the $2 billion redevelopment of the former Carlton and United Brewery site as Central Park.
The rear gardens of the terraces will be opened up into a series of interconnected courtyards, the company said, linked by a new retail building with a landscaped roof. Comprising 3000 square metres of retail space, the redevelopment is expected to be completed by early next year.
”They are a unique and special part of Sydney’s history which we are very carefully restoring and preserving,” said Frasers’ chairman, Stanley Quek, of the buildings once used by the brewery to house its senior managers.
The Clare Hotel, on the corner of Kensington Street and Broadway, is undergoing a similar makeover before it is reopened as a boutique hotel. Dr Quek described the vision for the precinct as that of a vibrant new ”eat street” for Sydney.
”Think Crown Street in a condensed form,” he said.
And no longer, in name at least, a laneway.
A spokeswoman for the development said despite early marketing, the company decided to stick with the historic designation rather than seek to have it officially changed from a street to a lane.
However, Central Park will not be without one – Park Lane is the name of both a newly created thoroughfare and apartment building inside the redevelopment.
It comes amid the ongoing revitalisation of Sydney’s laneways, some of which, lord mayor Clover Moore said, were ”now destinations in their own right”.
”Kimber Lane is attracting visitors to the heart of Chinatown with its beautiful public art,” she said.
”And Angel Place has gone from a traffic rat run to a public space filled with outdoor dining.”