Oxford Street to get face-lift Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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By Fernanda Tiburcio

Oxford Street, for the last years, has lost a lot of the gleam and splendour it once possessed.

In the intervening period of time, Oxford Street is still one of the most visited locations in Sydney.

The only thing it needs is some love and time. It is essential to improve and invest into Oxford Street to revive it and make it as once was.

Not all is lost. For some time now, the street has been achieving some renovations.

The City of Sydney owns a large value of property on the North side of Oxford Street.

According to City of Sydney councillor Christine Forster, Clover Moore has failed towards the recreation of the street.

“Clover Moore’s failure to implement any overarching strategy for the assets has left many of them empty and rundown, and meant the street’s economic viability has been in a steady downturn,” Councillor Christine Forster said.

“The Lord Mayor’s answer has been to pretend Council’s Oxford Street buildings are a ‘creative hub’ and to lease the shopfronts out at peppercorn rents to pop-up retailers.”

“Meanwhile, parts of the properties’ upper floors have been left to fall into such disrepair that they are empty or uninhabitable.”

According to Cr Forster in July 2017, Council had finally endorse an expression of interest towards Oxford Street properties on a long-term ground lease and investment, something Forster has been trying to advocate since 2012.

Stephan Gyory, owner of the Record Store and head of the Darlinghurst Business Partnership, says Oxford Street is a place where people should definitely visit and consider going.

However, any recovery is likely to be hampered by the continuation of the lockout laws.

“As long as the lockouts unfairly target this suburb, it is a tough stretch. They are anti-competitive and they have scared people away,” Stephan Gyory said.

Some tenants were reported to be unhappy the way the City of Sydney approached the tenders, including Wayne Nicole, owner of Sax Fetish.

The City of Sydney has shown City Hub proof that Sax Fetish did receive notification that the tender process was to begin.

“The expression of interest opened on 30 May 2018 and will take around 12 months to complete. The planning, consultation and development stages following this are expected to take several years,” City of Sydney Council Christine Forster said.

The street has been improving by Council efforts to renovate and rebuild empty spaces and damaged areas.

“Council is putting their buildings out to tender for re-development,” said Stephan Gyory.

“All we need is customers, there are so many great shops and bars and restaurants,” said Stephan Gyory.

Many of the buildings are now flourishing, featuring bright coloured lights. Oxford Street is being resurrected.

 

  • Peter

    Most people know that under Clover Moore Oxford Street has fallen onto hard times. The decline has been steady, but constant since 2004. It just didn’t start on1 February 2014. As the owner of almost 50% of the real estate in the street (the northern side) the City of Sydney, under the helm of Clover Moore since 2004, could have played a major role in ensuring this didn’t happen. However it didn’t act and ignored all suggestions. No doubt the actions of the Council under Clover has accelerated the situation. For example, the closing down of the social housing property at 120 Oxford St, which has been left vacant, locked up and rotting away for so many years is an absolute disgrace. Homelessness is on the increase – yet the City of Sydney closes down and leaves vacant its social housing property. WTF? On the other hand, it seems Clover gets a free pass from Stephan Gyory, head of the Darlinghurst Business Partnership which is receipt of massive grants from the City of Sydney. He’s also the incorporator and Secretary of Keep Sydney Open Ltd which is in receipt of grants from the City. Predictably he gives Clover a free pass and places the blame on lockout laws. Stephan is now only one of three people who are on the initial Management Committee of Keep Sydney Open Party. The Management Committee control the political party with an iron fist. Members of the party are not involved in decision making as one expects in a modern democratic political organisation. They only get a say at the Annual General Meeting, and there is no structure in place for them to have a say throughout the remainder of the year, no branch meetings etc. Just three people making decisions. To suggest the demise of Oxford Street only started on 1 February 2014 beggars belief. One wonders what game Stephan is really playing.

  • Paul

    Interesting comments Peter, do you have any proof or citations to support any of your claims?. Isn’t homelessness a responsibility of the state government?.