RIP Kings Cross: Secret $500M Property Deal To Put Final Nail In Party Precinct’s Coffin

Kings Cross has been haemorrhaging blood since the State Liberal Government’s controversial lockout laws jabbed a knife into its nightlife’s guts two years ago.

Since the 1.30am lockout and 3am alcohol curfew came into effect, countless jobs and venues have either been sold off or completely wiped out, including Hugos Lounge, Piano Room, Soho, Beach Haus, The Bourbon, The Backroom, The Exchange Hotel, Trademark Hotel, Barrio Chino, and too many others to name (and that’s just in the X alone).

And now, a massive new property development deal looks set to deliver the once iconic nightspot one final killing blow.

News Corp is reporting that a “secret” $500 million redevelopment plan has been struck which will “permanently transform” the once thriving bastion of post-sunset good times once and for all.

“Rather than pinning their hopes on the state government repealing controversial lockout laws, a consortium of Kings Cross property owners have put the finishing touches to a secret two-year deal to sell the most famous blocks on the Golden Mile for residential redevelopment,” the report claims.

According to News Corp, 65 landowners – including original “king of the Cross” turned property tycoon John Ibrahim – have signed an agreement to jointly commit the area between Darlinghurst Road, Roslyn Street, Kellett Street and Bayswater Road for sale in the next three years, with a Hong Kong-based firm intending to bulldoze it and build two luxury apartment towers instead.

The massive skyscrapers will apparently be modelled on Malaysia’s Petronas Towers and comprise “500 luxury apartments with a starting price of about $1 million each”.


Malaysia’s Petronas Towers, image via News Corp.

“It took a long time and a lot of money but we finally got the last landowner on board that we needed,” says the consortium’s boss Charlie Saleh, who apparently began gathering signatures “almost as soon as the lockout laws were introduced in 2014″.

“This is a huge parcel of land that we think has great potential. You have the train station across the road, the CBD is 20 minutes away and you have views of everything from the Blue Mountains to Bondi and Manly,” he tells News Corp.

“I think it’s the last great pocket of city land that hasn’t been redeveloped and if it’s done the right way I think it could transform Sydney.”

Screen Shot 2016-10-23 at 5.42.53 pm

Area to be redeveloped. Image Via News Corp.

In September 2015, it was revealed that the damage wrought by the lockout laws had been driving-up high-end property demand in Kings X, with baby boomers and young families from elite suburbs like Woollhara and Paddington flooding into the former nightlife precinct.

And News Corp reckons that this ambitious new plan will “completely gentrify the last remnants of the once-­notorious party district”. Read: rich people are moving in and average Joes and Joelenes like you and me can suck a fat one, because the fun is officially over in Kings X.

Naturally, anti-lockouts campaigners Keep Sydney Open have had some choice words to say about the development proposal.

“There will be nothing left of any social value in our city except two casinos,” they raged via Facebook post. “All of our spaces are turning into retirement villages, save for the young professionals who do a few years in Sydney before realising they can work just as hard but have fun at the same time elsewhere.

“Shoutout to our government and property developers who have ruined our city. Fuck all ya’ll.”

Fuck all ya’ll indeed.

To keep up to date with all things related to the slow and painful death of Sydney, take a gander at our dedicated Lockout Laws Feed.

UPDATE 24/10/16: John Ibrahim has taken to Twitter to deny News Corp‘s reports that he backed the property development.

Gallery: Funniest Anti-Lockout Banners From The Second Keep Sydney Open Rally

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