Australia’s first Soho House set for Sydney

Australia’s first Soho House is earmarked for 256 Crown Street, Darlinghurst.

NB: this proposal was rejected by the City of Sydney in August, 2023. Protestors included Toga, which would lose Opera House views, and local residents.

Details have been revealed about Centennial Property Group’s sale of a Darlinghurst building late last year to a consortium comprising the Smorgon and Kanat families which is planning Australia’s first Soho House.

The vendor has banked $20.36 million for the three level mixed use building at 256 Crown Street.

AsheMorgan and Toga’s proposed Oxford & Foley project.

It paid $13.8m in July, 2018, later obtaining permission to extend operating hours for one of the occupiers, the licensed Shady Pines Saloon.

The seller also benefited from recently implemented City of Sydney planning changes increasing permittable building height to 23 metres from 15.

The new Melbourne-based owners, with Trenerry Property Group, are expected to redevelop the property, possibly with a rooftop pool.

Soho House coming to Sydney

On 512 square metres, the Darlinghurst asset is adjacent to AsheMorgan and TOGA’s Oxford & Foley project, which will contain a 75 suite hotel, offices and retail.

“The prime island site bordered by Crown and Foley streets and Kells Lane was ripe for upgrading given Darlinghurst’s location two kilometres from Sydney’s CBD and the suburb being directly on the City of Sydney’s development radar,” Centennial executive director and chief investment officer, Jonathon Wolf, said of 256 Crown St.

“After purchasing the site, we upgraded around 1170 sqm of tenancy areas,” he added (story continues below).

Holdmark has applied for a 59 level hotel based mixed use project at 2-6 Bligh Street.

“We also engaged a leading architectural firm to design a new concept for the site to improve the asset and show potential buyers how they could capitalise on rental returns such as increasing floor space, while also taking advantage of Darlinghurst’s emerging popularity for office assets,” according to the executive.

“The successful sale…illustrates that Centennial’s formula of value adding to niche-underperforming properties across a range of asset classes and underpinned by a team of highly experienced property and finance experts, will continue to augment the company’s growth well into the future”.

Take II

The acquisition of 256 Crown St comes after the Kanat and Smorgon families and Trenerry Property Group abandoned plans to build a Soho House in Melbourne, at South Yarra’s Poolman House – a property it this month offered for sale after two years.

Established in London’s Soho in 1995, the members only social club now occupies 39 properties globally.

Elsewhere in Sydney, this month, Holdmark applied to develop a 59 level complex with 200 hotel suites at 2-6 Bligh St – or Bligh House – a property on 1218 sqm it acquired for c$210m last May.

Penned by Woods Bagot, that proposal also includes retail and eight storeys of offices.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of