cinema verona feature
The site is home to four cinemas. Image Supplied.
  • The 17 Oxford Street site dates back to 1946
  • The four Palace-operated cinemas have remained popular since being opened in 1996
  • Was also home to Sydney's first dedicated yoga studio

The home of Sydney’s Verona independent and art-house cinema in Paddington has been listed for sale.

The 17 Oxford Street site dates back to 1946 and comprises retail, events and a cinema complex over four levels. The freehold is owned by Robert Bleakley, who is the founder of Sotheby’s Australia fine art company.

Previously, the 1,138sqm site was a former industrial equipment manufacturers warehouse.

The four Palace-operated cinemas have remained popular since it was opened by Nicole Kidman in 1996, which was also the same year the building welcomed Sydney’s first dedicated yoga studio.

Mambo’s maiden retail store was located on the ground floor space from 1996 for over a decade before becoming the versatile 450sqm Verona Studios in 2015.

The space has hosted numerous art exhibitions, pop-ups and events for brands such as Chanel, Deus Ex Machina, Google and Tommy Hilfiger while acting as a television studio for some Channel 9 productions.

Image Supplied.

The sale is being managed by CBRE’s Harry George and Steffan Ippolito from I.B Property on behalf of Mr Bleakley.

“The Verona has been a significant focal point for contemporary culture in Sydney for more than 25 years,” Mr Bleakley said.

“There is a deep patina to the location, which has hosted countless events and many of the major creatives, and its patrons include a who’s who of Australian cinema.

“Now it can be expanded to express the best of a perfectly positioned city-fringe venue.”

Robert Bleakley, freehold owner

Falling under the City of Sydney’s B2 Local Centre zoning, the site can accommodate a four-level, mixed-use building with ground-floor retail beneath commercial suites or residential apartments.

A gross floor area of 3,295sqm with a maximum building of 15 metres is permitted under current planning controls. A planning proposal would take those upper limits to 3,983sqm and 20 metres respectively.

“The Verona represents an extremely rare opportunity for an incoming developer to secure a versatile and history-rich property within one of Sydney’s finest inner-city suburbs,” Mr George said.

“Oxford Street is an iconic thoroughfare, known for its bars, restaurants and boutiques, and the cinema occupies a prominent corner position, with a wide frontage and significant exposure.

“With flexible zoning and occupying a highly-desirable Sydney CBD fringe location, we’re expecting significant interest from a variety of parties.”

Harry George, CBRE

The expression of interest campaign ends 12 August.

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