The City of Sydney is looking for an organisation to create a new community hub at Haymarket Library on George Street after the library moves to The Exchange at Darling Square – a new development that will also feature a childcare centre, restaurants and rooftop bar.
When it opens later this year, the new Darling Square Library will provide four times more space than the former Haymarket Library and feature a collection of more than 30,000 items.
The City is inviting applications from organisations with ideas to transform the old library building into a new space for the local Haymarket community.
“Haymarket Library has been an important meeting place for the Chinatown community since it opened 30 years ago, but our library service has now outgrown the building,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.
“With the library moving to spectacular new premises at the nearby Darling Exchange later this year, we have the chance to open the building up to organisations with fresh ideas for the space while ensuring it remains in public hands.
“It’s an exciting opportunity to create a new chapter in this significant building’s history, and to take advantage of its central location and proximity to shops, restaurants, theatres and transport.
“I look forward to seeing the proposals our local community and cultural organisations put forward for the future of this much-loved building.”
The building at 744 George Street is a three-storey Victorian sandstone building in the Venetian gothic style. It was designed by architect brothers George and Ralph Mansfield and constructed in 1875.
Located in the southern part of the city centre, the building has frontages onto George and Hay streets and rear access from Palmer Lane. It has excellent public transport connections, with bus, train and light rail services nearby.
The successful applicant will be responsible for managing all three floors, with spaces of varying sizes that total 496 square metres. They will enter into a three-year lease with the potential to add a further two years, based on regular performance reviews.
Applications are open until Tuesday 27 August, with the successful tenant expected to move in by the end of 2019.