Palace Verona Cinema set for mixed-use block in Oxford Street revamp

In a significant move for Sydney’s cultural and commercial landscape, the iconic Palace Verona arthouse cinema in Paddington is set to undergo a transformation into a vibrant mixed-use block.

Approved by the Woollahra Municipal Council, the redevelopment plans mark a pivotal moment in the ongoing revitalization of Oxford Street.


Under the visionary design by architecture practice Scott Carver, the project, aptly named Verona, will soar eight levels high, encompassing 3500 square meters of office and retail space alongside 1000 square meters dedicated to cultural entertainment. This multifaceted approach reflects a commitment to fostering creativity, community engagement, and economic growth within the heart of the city.

The site, spanning 1138 square meters at 17 Oxford Street, was acquired by private development firms WT Malouf and Fenbury in 2021 from Robert Bleakley, founder of Sotheby’s Australia Fine Art. This strategic acquisition sets the stage for a dynamic urban reimagining while preserving the historic essence of the area.

Verona’s architectural narrative is as compelling as its purpose, with plans to retain the site’s industrial brick facade, paying homage to its heritage. Above this homage, a “crystalline and dynamic facade” will grace the building, embracing modernity while honoring its industrial roots. This juxtaposition of old and new promises to create a visually striking landmark.

The project’s scope extends beyond commercial and cultural realms, embracing sustainability and community integration. With subterranean cinema spaces, cultural retail on the ground floor, commercial office spaces, and a rooftop boasting panoramic views of Sydney Harbour and the CBD, Verona aims to be a hub of activity and inspiration.

Verona’s development aligns with broader trends in Sydney’s urban landscape, where CBD fringe locations are experiencing heightened demand for commercial spaces post-Covid. Knight Frank’s 2023 Sydney City Fringe—Office Insight report highlights a surge in population and a scarcity of prime office stock, underscoring the strategic importance of projects like Verona.

As the city evolves, Verona stands as a testament to adaptive reuse, historical preservation, and forward-thinking design—a beacon of progress on Oxford Street’s storied journey towards a vibrant and inclusive future.

Images via The Urban Developer

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