Developers sound Kings Cross death knell

By Andy Young, editor TheShout

The future of major Sydney night-life area, Kings Cross, looks even more gloomy as reports emerge of a $500m property deal in the area.

The reports claim that a consortium of Kings Cross property owners have agreed a deal which will see most of the blocks on the Golden Mile sold for residential development. The deal would see the remaining night-life spots closed down to make way for the development.

The consortium is hoping that the area will be rezoned to allow two high-rise blocks, modelled on the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur. It is claimed the towers would be home to around 500 apartments with a starting price of around $1m each.

Club owner Charlie Saleh, told News Limited that he has spent the last two years securing agreement from other land owners in the Cross to sell to a developer.

“In total there’s almost 65 owners and they are happy to sign an option agreement with a developer. I represent all of them,” Saleh said.

Saleh added that he started work on the deal in 2014, just after the lockout laws were introduced in Sydney. “It took a long time and a lot of money but we finally got the last landowner on board that we needed,” he he told News Limited.

“This is a huge parcel of land that we think has great potential. You have the train station across the road, the CBD is 20 minutes away and you have views of everything from the Blue Mountains to Bondi and Manly.”

However Kings Cross club owner John Ibrahim took to Twitter to deny that he is involved in the deal.

“I am personally glad that the sale of a whole chunk of Kings Cross did not go through. The media reporting was wrong,” Ibrahim said. “A change is needed in Kings Cross, but not something so dramatic. There is an oversupply of luxury apartments in Sydney suburbs, but there is only one Kings Cross.”

Not surprisingly the news has not been welcomed by everyone, with NSW Deputy Opposition Leader Michael Daley saying: “Sydney is not Malaysia and it is not Dubai. Sydney has a character of its own and we have to make sure we keep the character.”

While Keep Sydney Open said: “There will be nothing left of any social value in our city except two casinos. All of our spaces are turning into retirement villages, save for the young professionals who do a few years in Sydney before realising they can work just as hard but have fun at the same time elsewhere.”

Plans for the development have not been submitted yet and the towers would need approval from both the City of Sydney Council and NSW State Government before any development can begin.

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