A new plan to redevelop the heritage-listed Gaden House in Double Bay has been unveiled after boutique developer Fortis bought the building from AMA Property.
Fortis director Charles Mellick, who has been a resident of Double Bay for more than 50 years, is confident that their proposal, which has yet to be lodged with Woollahra Council, will have no objections as they have been careful to take into account all of the concerns of the community.
Previous development applications to revitalise the iconic building were opposed and rejected as the plans would completely alter the original building’s mid-century design, courtesy of prominent Sydney architect Neville Gruzman. The public outcry prompted Council to enlist the building as a heritage property.
Mr Mellick said that Fortis, who bought the building in 2020, has some ideas to expand Gaden House while retaining its fundamental design, with respect to Gruzman. The director said that he doesn’t want this heritage-listed site to have a nightclub but will consider a high-end food and drink area on the street level.
To ensure that this redevelopment won’t be rejected, Fortis signed up architect Peter Hurley and a few heritage designers to go over the plans before submitting the application.
Fortis is also nearly done with securing tenancies for the new building whilst Gaden House’s redevelopment is still in the planning stages.
“With significant community interest and heritage sensitivities, Fortis has assembled a project team of the highest calibre,” Fortis said.
“Paying utmost respect to Gruzman’s original designs, the creative vision is to enhance the existing building by restoring key structural and aesthetic elements including the façade, concrete staircase, metal-clad louvres, terrazzo podium and feature lighting circles. Carefully preserving its past, whilst bringing ultra-contemporary new levels of amenity, Gaden House will be re-established as a Double Bay for generations to come.”