By Vanessa Cavasinni, editor Australian Hotelier
Merivale have announced the purchase of another Sydney city fringe pub, rescuing the beloved local pub The Alexandria from being demolished.
The pub, known as The Alex, was set to be replaced by a four-storey residential apartment building after being purchased by a developer in 2015. Set on the corner of Henderson Road and Garden Street, the move to demolish the pub with it’s pastel façade was decried by many local residents who earned a reprieve to save the pub, seeking a heritage status for the building.
It can now be revealed that Merivale stepped in to save the favourite drinking haunt, by purchasing the hotel from the developers, whose development application for the apartments had not yet been approved by local council.
Justin Hemmes, CEO of Merivale wanted to assure Alexandria residents that the hotel be restored to its former glory.
“Institutions like this must be preserved, they reflect our history and help shape our culture – especially when they mean as much to their local community as The Alex does. This outcome is a great reward for the passion and character of the community who fought so hard to save this property where a hotel has stood for almost 150 years”.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore was also ecstatic about the outcome.
“When plans to destroy The Alex were first put on public exhibition, there was a real groundswell of support for its conservation. This is a huge win for the community, and for City staff who were in court fighting for the 80-year-old building to be heritage-listed”.
“Historic buildings like this one maintain links to Sydney’s past, and fill our streetscapes with unique character. I’m thrilled Mr Hemmes plans to restore and re-open this fantastic building and involve our residents and creatives in shaping its future use”.
Merivale plans to preserve the 1930s features of the building, while upgrading the expansive courtyard of the hotel. As the hotel had such vocal local community support, Hemmes is calling for locals to submit ideas as to how to transform the courtyard, with local talent to work on the final design concept with the CEO and architect Kelvin Ho.
“This hotel has and will always be Alexandria’s pub so I want the community to help create the next stage in its vibrant life. Whether you’re an artist or architect, a sculptor or builder, if you’re passionate about design and creating amazing spaces, we want to hear from you.”
Local creatives are encouraged to register their interest at www.ouralex.com.au