Four years after the building at 2-4 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst, housing popular LGBTQI+ venue Burdekin Hotel was sold, its owners have listed the properties on the market for a private sale.
After purchasing the building around four years ago, the owners had only recently completed multimillion dollar renovations on the property last year, including the addition of a rooftop bar, a first for Oxford Street.
Confirming the news, Kevin Kaila, Burdekin’s Operations manager told Star Observer that only the buildings at 2-4 Oxford St were for sale.
‘Burdekin Hotel Not For Sale’
Earlier this month, buildings at 4-24 Flinders Street, 2 Sturt Street & 4-10 Taylor Street Darlinghurst currently home to Arq Nightclub and Bodyline Sauna were listed on the market, earlier this month.
This most listing on the market comes in the wake of both Kinsella’s and the Courthouse Hotel set for development. And, the Green Park Hotel, which was bought by neighbouring St Vincent’s Hospital, with the intention of converting the much loved community watering hole into an outreach centre for “hospital-related patient care, training and research endeavours.”
Kaila told Star Observer that the Burdekin hotel was not up for sale.
Kaila insisted that any attempts to develop the building housing Burdekin Hotel for purposes other than a hospitality venue would have to involve “a huge buyout”.
Should Oxford Street be preserved as a historic, cultural, commercial and tourist precinct for the LGBTQI community?To mark the Star Observer’s 42nd anniversary we are hosting a panel discussion on the future of Oxford Street. Join a community forum with:
• Clover Moore, City of Sydney Lord Mayor
• Alex Greenwich MP; Independent Member for Sydney in New South Wales
• Kate Wickett is the Interim CEO of Sydney WorldPride 2023
• David Polson Chair of the steering committee for “Sydney Queer Space”
• Andrew Gorman-Murray is a Professor of Geography at Western Sydney University
• Lawrence Gibbons, Publisher of the Star Observer
MODERATOR: Mon Schafter, Walkley Award winning journalist and reporter for 7:30 and ABCQueer.
Date and time: Sunday, 31 October 2021, 3:30 pm – 6:30 pm AEDT
Location: Burdekin Hotel, 2 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst, NSW 2010
City Council Has Plans For Oxford Street
Of course, what Kaila says here may be true, however the same cannot be said for the sale of Arq and neighbouring buildings with a combined site area of approximately 1,230square metres.
“Because those buildings aren’t heritage, Arq could become a redevelopment site.” Kaila said.
“It really does stress me out, that we could be losing more of our gay venues and queer culture. Somewhere like Burdekin you can’t tear it down and create something new, it doesn’t make sense to make it anything other than what it is, but Arq is a huge site.”
Online Petition To Save Queer Venues On Oxford Street Garners Support
Kaila is not alone in his fears for the demise of such an iconic site and gay venue. A recent change.org petition started in an attempt to raise awareness and possibly halt any development of the Arq site has attracted more than 3,5000 signatures.
As Sydney gets ready to emerge from its most recent lockdown next month, and as the city gears up to host World Pride in 2023, Kaila added “Everyone needs to come down and support local businesses when we do get to reopen.”
The consequences of not supporting local LGBTQI+ businesses could be dire, he warned. “If they don’t it’s going to be very hard for us to continue to offer spaces to people along Oxford Street,” Kaila added.