Walsh Bay Re­newal Project

What is it: A world-class hub for per­form­ing arts When will it open? 2019, but op­po­si­tion from lo­cal busi­nesses may de­lay the project

Time Out (Sydney) - - FUTURE SYDNEY -

Imag­ine watch­ing a per­for­mance by the Aus­tralian Cham­ber Orches­tra and hav­ing the view of the Har­bour Bridge be­hind the mu­si­cians. That dream could be­come a re­al­ity when the $207 mil­lion re­newal gets the green light (for a sec­ond time). In April this year, the project to re­de­velop the arts and cul­tural cen­tres at Walsh Bay – specif­i­cally Pier 2/3 and Wharf 4/5 – was awarded an ad­di­tional $68 mil­lion in fund­ing. How­ever, by June the project suf­fered a ma­jor set­back with op­po­si­tion from a lo­cal restau­rant (who feared the two-year con­struc­tion pe­riod would slow trade). As it stands, Syd­ney The­atre Com­pany and the The­atre Bar at the End of the Wharf will close for busi­ness mid­way through 2018 in or­der to over­haul the per­for­mance and hos­pi­tal­ity spaces on Wharf 4/5. Over at Pier 2/3, the plan is to build bal­conies, raise the roof and glaze the slid­ing cargo doors. This wharf will be­come the new home of the Aus­tralian Cham­ber Orches­tra, Bell Shake­speare and Aus­tralian The­atre for Young Peo­ple. And there’s a plan to link the decks be­tween the two wharves to cre­ate a so­cial area for the an­tic­i­pated two mil­lion visi­tors to Walsh Bay each year. The pro­posed re­furb is STC’s first sig­nif­i­cant up­grade in 30 years, which will in­clude two new ac­ces­si­ble pub­lic en­tries and mod­ernised the­atres with flex­i­ble seat­ing con­fig­u­ra­tions. For Ban­garra Dance The­atre, the up­date means new glazed doors and an im­proved en­trance. For Syd­ney Dance Com­pany, they’ll get a bet­ter café and new dance stu­dio.

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