One week before Christmas and 39 years after first opening its doors to a nascent queer Oxford Street, Sax Fetish has been told to pack up and vacate premises by the end of next month. A copy of the letter of eviction was posted on Sax Fetish’s Facebook page and immediately drew reactions of shock, sympathy, anger, and sadness from hundreds of followers.
While the writing’s been on the wall for some time given the general decline of business along Oxford Street and the ever present shadow of developers circling overhead, it’s fair to say the owners of Sax had a right to expect better than to be given one month’s notice – especially when that month coincides with the busiest retail period of the year.
The letter was sent by lawyers acting for giant property investors, AsheMorgan. The City Of Sydney has given AsheMorgan, a 99-year lease on three City owned adjacent blocks on Oxford Street. It’s prime real estate – from the steps at Burton Street up to Taylor Square – and at the pinnacle of a once thriving and diverse strip. Any new development will have a significant impact on the entire character of the area.
Sax Fetish is located on one of those three blocks, and with the changing retail and residential environment around the area, they may find it challenging to locate a suitable new home. As a leader not only in supplying leather, BDSM, fetish, and sex accessories but also in providing information and advice, Sax Fetish services a need in the community that will go wanting.
They are yet another domino to be tipped over by the imposing finger of big development and the seeming indifference of local councils.
In their Facebook post, Sax Fetish wrote “Clover Moore has [officially] washed her hands of Oxford St after 15 years of failure.”
Goodbye to another icon.