06.07.2023 Property News

Transforming Heritage Properties: An Important Local Trend

Transforming Heritage Properties: An Important Local Trend

10/18 Flinton Street Paddington is a unique apartment, unparalleled in the Eastern Suburbs.

It is also a great example of adaptive reuse of a heritage building, and we expect it to break all records when it sells.

There’s not much vacant land left in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs, so development often needs to take the form of repurposing existing buildings. Very often this involves transforming commercial and industrial land and buildings into residential – something known as ‘adaptive reuse’.

We delve into the trend of adaptive reuse in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs, exploring its significance and showcasing notable examples.

Adaptive reuse in Sydney’s eastern suburbs

There are many great examples of adaptive reuse locally. For instance, several commercial hotels in Potts Point have become residential apartments. More recently we’ve seen adaptive reuse in practice with Waverley Council’s plans to turn the Boot Factory in Bondi Junction into a community centre.

On a smaller scale, we’ve gone through a wave of conversions ranging from inner city warehouses to old masonic halls tucked away in Newtown or Watsons Bay and even disused substations.

Back in the late 1990s, we also saw adaptive reuse in action when the Royal Hospital for Women in Paddington was converted into residential dwellings.

But adaptive reuse doesn’t always have to involve building new homes. Between 2006 and 2009, Reservoir Gardens in Paddington saw the old water reservoir transformed into a stunning – and unique – urban park.

Why adaptive reuse is important

Adaptive reuse is an established and positive way to “recycle” old buildings. A report for the Australian Government’s Department of Environment and Heritage explains that it changes a “disused or ineffective item into a new item that can be used for a different purpose”.

It argues that the adaptive reuse of a historic building should have minimal impact on the heritage significance of the building and its setting. In fact, sometimes nothing changes at all, except the item’s use.

For this reason, adaptive reuse is a valuable way to reshape our cities sustainably. It’s also a valuable way to preserve our heritage.

But it can be made more difficult when something is heritage listed. And it’s not just houses, apartments and commercial premises that can be listed. Heritage listings can also apply to trees, gardens, monuments, objects and even entire streets. These can impact a property owner’s plans and limit what they can do with their home both externally and internally.

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Still, any inconvenience caused by a heritage listing could be worth it for the property owner. An Australian Productivity Commission study reported that on average, heritage listed houses (on Sydney’s North Shore in this case) commanded a 12% premium over unlisted houses.

Spotlight on a prestige example of adaptive reuse: The Royal Hospital For Women, Paddington

Established on Glenmore Road, Paddington, in 1901 by the Benevolent Society, The Royal Hospital for Women holds a special place in many locals’ lives. It was the place where so many Sydneysiders were born, with 280,000 babies delivered at the “Royal” before it moved to Randwick in 1997.

Today, many memories live on in the half hectare public park that stands on its former site. Meanwhile, the main wing of the old hospital was heritage listed (along with the hospital’s famous chimney) and repurposed into completely unique apartments.

Right now we have perhaps one of Sydney’s most incredible apartments listed for sale and it’s situated within the former main wing

Your chance to live in the former hospital

10/18 Flinton Street crowns the landmark Royal Hospital for Women heritage conversion, occupying the entire top floor.

The single level penthouse is set over 581 sqm and includes a library, home office, four bedrooms (the master with dual ensuites), lift access and parking for five cars. Light, bright with an outlook on all four sides, its Edwardian-era heritage charm is enjoyed through its original brickwork, classic shapes, and four large timber balconies, which have panoramic views across Sydney skyline, Harbour and surrounds.

Combining the best of both worlds, the apartment is contemporary, having been updated since it was originally designed.

Although the heritage building’s interior has been completely reimagined, it retains its exterior as originally designed by the Benevolent Society’s honorary architect, George Sydney Jones (the grandson of retailer David Jones) when it opened in 1905.

With grand proportions and classic styling, we’re guiding $20 million for this property and expect it to break price records, as it simply has no equal anywhere in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.

If you’re thinking of buying or selling in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, get in touch