Cremorne character under threat
Resident groups are concerned a development application (DA) that would see the demolition of shopfronts adjacent to the Hayden Orpheum will “destroy the cohesiveness of the streetscape and the character of the area”.
Both the Harrison and Willoughby Bay Precincts have communicated to Council their opposition towards the knock down and rebuild of 390, 392 and 394 Military Road, Cremorne.
The DA proposes the erection of a five-level mixed use apartment building with above basement parking and a rooftop common space, which locals say will be in contradiction to the heritage-protected cinema next door.
The groups want the current art-deco shopfronts protected under the NSW Planning Local Character and Place Guidelines, which suggest that character should be preserved when it “provides locational context to a heritage item”.
“Retaining local buildings with historic value enhances the streetscape and helps to contribute to the appeal of Cremorne as a destination with distinct local character,” Harrison Precinct states in its submission to Council.
“Preserving this set of shops will help to stop Cremorne Junction from becoming a bland copy of other modern retail strips in Australia.”
However, Alex Temesvari, general manager of the Hayden Orpheum, says, from a business perspective, the development might prove positive in bringing more foot traffic to the area.
“While I do agree that it would be ideal if the existing facades could be incorporated into the new development, my belief is that a new building that attracts more people to the suburb is certainly more preferable to empty shops and run-down businesses that are of no real value to the community, except for their art-deco facades,” he tells North Shore Living.
“I strongly believe anything that can be done to increase people traffic and make the area more vibrant is a positive thing and of the greatest benefit to the local community.”