Paddington’s Verona Cinema Set for Remarkable Redevelopment: Eight Levels of Culture, Office, and Rooftop Dining

Verona Paddington Redevelopment
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Verona, the iconic arthouse cinema in Paddington, is poised for a groundbreaking transformation as part of a comprehensive mixed-use redevelopment within the renowned Oxford Street redevelopment precinct.

Private development companies WT Malouf and Fenbury acquired the 1,138 square meter corner site from previous owner Robert Bleakley in 2021, marking the first large-scale commercial office offering in Paddington.

Named ‘Verona’ in homage to its cinematic heritage, the eight-level mixed-use building will feature 3,500 square meters of office and retail space, along with 1,000 meters of cultural entertainment space. The project aligns with the City of Sydney’s vision to rejuvenate the creative and cultural precinct of Oxford Street.

Located at 17 Oxford Street, Verona sits adjacent to the 25 Hours Hotel and the Oxford House development, contributing to the overall transformation of the gateway to Paddington. The renowned architecture firm Scott Carver has designed Verona to include subterranean cinema spaces, cultural retail on the ground floor, and four levels of commercial office space. The rooftop, spanning 620 square meters, is earmarked for a destination restaurant and bar with panoramic views of Sydney’s Harbour and CBD.

Verona Paddington Rooftop Expereience Render in Sydney (Image: Scott Carver)
^Verona Paddington Rooftop Expereience Render in Sydney (Image: Scott Carver)

Doug Southwell, Project Architect and Co-Managing Director of Scott Carver, emphasized the project’s role in redefining cultural experiences on Oxford Street, stating,

“This project is an amazing opportunity to reinvent and redefine the next generation of cultural experiences on Oxford Street. It anchors the eastern end of the City of Sydney’s Oxford Street renewal and will help people rediscover one of Sydney’s most creative and culturally significant areas,”

“Cinema opens a world of experience and magic beyond our everyday lives. Verona will retain these cinematic experiences loved by so many, and enhance them with live entertainment, retail, and creative workspaces, allowing magical experiences into the everyday,” he said.

Maintaining the historic industrial brick façade, the new building features a crystalline and dynamic façade above, providing excellent daylight and amenity within while paying tribute to the site’s history.

^Internal Render of the Verona Paddington Redevelopment (Image: Scott Carver)
^Internal Render of the Verona Paddington Redevelopment (Image: Scott Carver)

Verona, originally built in 1946 as an industrial facility, gained prominence as a cinema in 1996, hosting Nicole Kidman’s movie premiere. After its closure in 2006, the space has been used for various pop-ups and television productions.

Verona’s commercial office space, ranging from 523 to 822 square meters, offers next-generation workspaces with potential inter-connectivity for large tenants. Rental rates are undisclosed but expected to align with prime commercial office spaces in Darlinghurst and Paddington.

Leasing agents, Mercer Property and Knight Frank, have reported early interest from a diverse range of industries, given Verona’s proximity to key amenities such as Sydney Football Stadium, Fox Studios, and St Vincent’s Hospital in Darlinghurst. Tom Speakman, Founding Director of Mercer Property, noted the compelling opportunity Verona presents, bringing city-style space to Paddington.

“It’s a compelling opportunity, there’s simply no office space of this scale available in Paddington. It’s bringing city-style space to Paddington and the market is ready for it. We’ve already dealt with a broad mix of potential tenants across the sporting, entertainment and medical sectors given Verona’s proximity to major amenities. The tech sector is another with other fringe locations like Surry Hills and Darlinghurst at capacity,” said Tom Speakman, Founding Director of Mercer Property.

“Eastern Suburbs based CEOs are drawn to Verona’s proximity to home, reducing the commute and delivering greater work-life balance. It is an ideal opportunity for a boutique HQ,” he said.

^Verona Cinema Today (Image: Star Observer)
^Verona Cinema Today (Image: Star Observer)

According to Knight Frank’s 2023 Sydney City Fringe – Office Insight Report, inner city suburbs recorded a 53% rise in population in the last 20 years, compared with a growth rate of just 29% in Greater Sydney.

“Sustained population growth and a resilient local economy within the city fringe has seen a rise in young, highly skilled workers over recent years, compounded by the further growth of Sydney’s white-collar industries. These factors have spurred demand for well-located and amenity-rich office space, especially as hybrid working styles persist and companies look to attract more high-performing talent,”  said Nick Lau, Director and Head of Office Leasing at Knight Frank.

“Vacancy rates within the city fringe are amongst the lowest in the Greater Sydney area, with an undersupply of prime stock evidenced by sub 2% vacancy in Surry Hills, Darlinghurst, and Eveleigh. Given a limited pipeline of new developments and strong, ongoing rental growth within the city fringe, the delivery of new prime office supply will be well-received by the market,” he added.

The surge in demand for commercial space in CBD fringe locations, driven by persistent hybrid working styles post-COVID, is reflected in the growth of net face rents. Verona aims to target sustainability credentials and will provide modern End-of-Trip facilities for tenants, a feature typically seen in CBD office towers.

Note: The information presented in this article is for general informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal, financial, or professional advice. While we make every effort to fact-check and verify the information presented, we cannot guarantee its accuracy or completeness. Readers are encouraged to independently verify any information they find on our website and to consult with relevant professionals before making any decisions based on the information presented. The Australian Development Review does not own the rights to the information included within this article, and furthermore, there is no infringement intended from the included text and images within.

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