Lowy-backed firm joins Pallas for Double Bay luxury play

Source: The Australian

Ben Wilmot

Some of the nation’s most prominent developers and investors are planning to revamp a major site in Sydney’s wealthy Double Bay, with a prominent car park to be transformed into a cinema complex as well as high-end luxury apartments.

The plan by the Lowy family-backed Assembly Funds Management, alongside active local player Pallas Group and its wholly owned subsidiary Fortis, will see a new cinema complex, retail and community space, offices, as well as residential apartments replace the Cross Street Car Park.

The 18 luxury apartments are expected to be in hot demand as the developers capitalise on the extraordinary demand for high-end residential complexes in Double Bay, which is regaining popularity with eastern suburbs locals and diners from out of the area thanks to Neil Perry’s recently opened restaurant, Margaret.


Neil Perry and his daughter Macy at his restaurant, Margaret at Double Bay. Picture: John Feder/The Australian.

Neil Perry and his daughter Macy at his restaurant, Margaret at Double Bay


Boutique property developer Fortis is already backing a series of projects in cosmopolitan Double Bay, and earlier this year acquired what was its sixth site in the heart of the wealthy harbourside suburb.

Fortis purchased 2-10 Bay St and 294-298 New South Head Rd in Double Bay for $82m.

That site carries approvals for a residential project comprising apartments across four levels. It is also working with fund manager Marprop on refurbishing 24 Bay St in Double Bay.

Fortis associate director Ed Eve said the company and Assembly Funds Management had been appointed by Woollahra Council after an extensive and competitive detailed tender.

“The redevelopment of the Cross St site represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to rejuvenate the precinct, and positively impact the Double Bay centre,” Mr Eve said.

“We look forward to working closely with the council and the local community over the coming weeks and months to deliver a vibrant cultural and retail precinct in the next few years.”

The council developed the new designs in order to help bring a cinema back to Double Bay – replacing the old Village Cinema on New South Head Rd that has been closed.

The mixed-use complex will be delivered at no financial cost to the council.

The first step will be demolishing the existing 380-space car park.

Woollahra Council general manager Craig Swift-McNair said the proposal would enhance Double Bay centre’s social, cultural and commercial life and affirm the council’s ongoing commitment to revitalising the area.

“This is a great result for the community, and will complement the significant improvements to Double Bay delivered in recent years by council, including an award-winning library, the highly successful Kiaora Place redevelopment and ongoing revitalisation of the commercial precinct, which has been a major focus for council,” Mr Swift-McNair said.

It is anticipated a three-year construction phase will begin in 2024-25.