Boomers drawn to mixed use apartment projects in upscale suburbs

LONDON: Boomers are increasingly being drawn into mixed use apartment buildings in upscale suburbs.

The cinemas are returning to Double Bay, with grand plans for multistorey development set to replace a car park in the heart of town.

The existing Cross Street Car Park could soon be replaced with boutique cinemas, retail and commercial space and apartments as part of a joint partnership between developer Fortis Group, Sydney-based property group Assembly Funds Management, non-bank lender Pallas Group and Woolahra Council.

For the past decade, the council had been considering developing the 396-space car park with the current plans described by Fortis associate director Ed Eve as a “once in a generation opportunity to rejuvenate the (Double Bay) precinct”.

Mr Eve said the development would revitalise the suburb.

“The introduction of a boutique cinema will also bring cultural experiences back to Double Bay, serving as another drawcard for visitors,” he said.

“Commercial space in the development will house additional white-collar workers, driving increased revenue for local businesses.”

Only 16 carparking spaces would be lost under the plans, with the plans including a 380-space public basement car park.

Woollahra Council general manager Craig Swift-McNair said the plans would complement recent projects, including the library and Kiaora Place redevelopment.

However, not everyone was excited by the new plans with the Double Bay Residents Association (DBRA) concerned about the underground car park amid to flooding fears.

DBRA president Anthony Tregoning said parts of the community were at odds with a council’s approach to developing Double Bay.

“We’re not against change,” he said. “What distinguishes Double Bay and attracts people is it’s village character. People don’t want it to become another soulless suburb, indistinguishable from others, which will be the result of the council’s decisions.”

Mr Tregoning said DBRA didn’t believe developments like the proposed boutique cinemas would bring economy boost council had promised, noting many people lived close to Sydney’s CBD or Bondi Junction.

Woollahra Council said the planned development would be delivered at no cost to council or ratepayers.

More community consultation is to take place before the development application process with a three year construction process expected to begin in 2024/25, pending approvals.