It appears the Rule Brothers worst fears may have come true, with The Annandale Hotel, one of Sydney’s most enduring live music venues, to be redeveloped into a residential development.
The Australian reports that the hotel has now been sold to a residential developer, with the final documents required to seal the deal expected to be processed tomorrow. Morgan Kelly, the Ferrier Hodgson partner handling the receiver’s sale of The Annandale, revealed today that the hotel’s sale was imminent.
There are conflicting reports coming from within the hotel industry, with some saying that The Annandale was actually sold to a residential buyer on Monday and others saying that there will be no redevelopment at all.
Leichhardt Mayor Darcy Byrne has placed much of the blame for the sale on his predecessors, claiming their lack of support for live music in Sydney crushed the venue, and has vowed to exercise whatever means remain to save The Annandale as a live music location:
“Today’s troubling news is a direct consequence of the destructive approach of my predecessors. The hypocrisy of people such as former Mayor Jamie Parker will be writ large in the sale documents. In pretending to support live music while voting against the Hotel’s application he and his fun police allies bear primary responsibility for today’s tragedy.
“Any change of use for the hotel would require consent from council and I am still determined to see the Annandale saved for rock-and roll not residential development.
“Sydney’s live music scene is now on life support. The potential loss of the Annandale only adds to the need for the industry to be revived through live music zones including at Parramatta Road. These must now be created in 2013, there is not a moment to lose.”
The Annandale had been in receivership for 3 months. Expressions of interest closed earlier this month on 14th May. A well-known live music venue owner made allegedly made an offer on The Annandale but as apparently come up short.
Former Annandale owners Matt and Dan Rule were forced to give up ownership of the iconic live music venue in February. The Rules Brothers took over ownership of The Annandale in November 1998.
Towards the beginning of May, Annandale venue booker Chris Shepherd confirmed that gigs will run at least into September. It is unclear if any future gigs beyond September will take place.
(via The Australian)
UPDATE: No sooner have reports spread that Sydney’s beloved live music venue The Annandale Hotel has been sold and would be redeveloped for residential use, TheMusic.com.au reports the hotel’s prospective buyer is actually an unnamed publican.
According to TheMusic.com.au, Mike Wheatley, director of hotels for Knight Frank and the real estate agent handling the receiver’s sale of The Annandale, said that although the hotel is close to being purchased, current reports on the impending sale of the are incorrect:
“The hotel is close to being sold but the information in the press is wrong. The prospective purchaser is a publican.”
Wheatley’s comments contradict previous reports that The Annandale was sold to a residential buyer on Monday for redevelopment. It is unclear whether the unnamed publican plans to keep The Annandale operating as a live music venue.
As it has been most the year, The Annandale’s future looks very uncertain. We can only hope this latest report serves as a glimmer of hope for live music in Sydney and the legacy of former Annandale owners the Rule Brothers.