Chinatown in the News – Sydney Morning Herald 17 July 2022 article by Andrew Taylor

July 17, 2022

(Photo: Wolter Peeters)

By Andrew Taylor


Hotels, a new technology precinct and cultural events will transform Chinatown over the next 10 years as it slowly rebuilds after the devastation of COVID-19 lockdowns and years of major construction works.

Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore warned that Chinatown has not yet recovered from the pandemic, while a community group said the precinct risked losing its unique streetscape and heritage through gentrification and a lack of consultation with local businesses and residents.

Three new hotels are among the multimillion-dollar developments proposed for Chinatown, including a 15-storey hotel at the former headquarters of the Transport Workers’ Union on Sussex Street.

A new Museum of Chinese in Australia is also scheduled to open in 2023 in a historic building on George Street that previously housed the Haymarket Library.

Moore said the council had “worked tirelessly” since COVID-19 restrictions were lifted last year to attract visitors back to Chinatown, with entertainment, grants for events and the Lunar New Year Festival.

She pointed to upgrades of streets as well as the Dixon Street Mall and Ceremonial Gate to make the area more attractive.

Major building projects were a “vote of confidence” in Chinatown, but Moore said the precinct continued to suffer as many people still worked from home and travel for tourism, business and education remained restricted.

Our city centre won’t fully bounce back until we can get on top of new COVID-19 variants and see workers, tourists and international students return in earnest,” she said.

Haymarket Chamber of Commerce president Vincent Lim said the projects were the “clearest indication that there is significant confidence in the long-term prospects of Sydney’s Chinatown”.

Lim said the new developments, including luxury hotels, would gentrify parts of Chinatown that have long been neglected. “We can also expect a greater variety of entertainment and dining offerings to complement the existing Asian cuisines.”

Atlassian’s new Sydney headquarters in a technology precinct next to Central Station will also boost Chinatown, he said.


Read the full article by Andrew Taylor here at SMH