Balmain Leagues Club - Developer not selling site



  • 29 Jul 2014 Inner West Courier - Inner West Edition Alexis Carey

    DEVELOPERS have no plans to sell the beleaguered Balmain Leagues Club site despite the State Government scrapping controversial plans for 20-storey towers and handing control back to Leichhardt Council. Planning Minister Pru Goward contacted the council last Monday, encouraging it to update its local planning controls for the Rozelle site. This means the council has to start the entire process from scratch and undergo strategic planning, community consultation and traffic studies. The council will apply for State Government funding to assist with the process.

    The site has been a bone of contention for years with various government departments blocking three development applications from developers Rozelle Village. The decision could have implications for the Wests Tigers NRL club, who have traditionally been partly funded by the leagues club. The club has operated leagues clubs at Five Dock and Flemington while the Rozelle site has been out of action.

    In 2010, Balmain Leagues Club vacated the site to make room for the Sydney Metro, but the metro plan was scrapped and the site fell into disrepair.

    Rozelle Village managing director Ian Wright dismissed calls for Rozelle Village to sell the site. “Any developer interested in the site is going to be maximising its potential so the suggestion we should be selling it on is ridiculous,” he said. He said the only way the Tigers could return to the site was with a development.



  • The bloke can keep a non-productive asset and bleed cash then. Eventually he is going to want his funds out.

    I reckon there could be a shining light though… the govt recently announced the development to the Bays Precinct. They are having a forum in November (and public consultation in Feb) and if they stick in a new mode of public transport, the leagues club could possibly be roped in as a stop again.

    Or, there may be a new spot created down on the water for the Tigers… Darcy might just push for something like that.

    While on developments, not sure if anyone else has noticed, but great to also see the new Sydney boathouse shed in Rozelle Bay with an orange black and white color scheme!



  • What happened to the mystery benefactor I wonder



  • I’m curious about that too Ink.

    My guess would be that these developers wanted to get more back than they put in… and they’ve dug a pretty big hole. Wouldn’t be worth it for someone to come in at what they are probably asking.



  • It says they arent selling. The benefactor still may be around.



  • If there is a benefactor they would be much better off finding a new site, with less traffic issues and then starting from scratch.

    Fact is it used to be the leagues club site. It now isn’t. Cut loose the baggage



  • @Mccarry:

    If there is a benefactor they would be much better off finding a new site, with less traffic issues and then starting from scratch.

    Fact is it used to be the leagues club site. It now isn’t. Cut loose the baggage

    They can’t. They are millions in the hole.



  • @innsaneink:

    What happened to the mystery benefactor I wonder

    Yeah , forgot about that

    Maybe a squatter got bored and moved on ??



  • @hammertime:

    The bloke can keep a non-productive asset and bleed cash then. Eventually he is going to want his funds out.

    I reckon there could be a shining light though… the govt recently announced the development to the Bays Precinct. They are having a forum in November (and public consultation in Feb) and if they stick in a new mode of public transport, the leagues club could possibly be roped in as a stop again.

    Or, there may be a new spot created down on the water for the Tigers… Darcy might just push for something like that.

    While on developments, not sure if anyone else has noticed, but great to also see the new Sydney boathouse shed in Rozelle Bay with an orange black and white color scheme!

    Doesn’t the leagues club need start up capital to get off the ground at a new location? Something I would say that it doesn’t have.

    BTW the two developments you mention, is there any word from the Tigers that they are exploring these options, or are these suggestions you have come up with yourself?

    Posted using RoarFEED V.4



  • By LEESHA MCKENNY
    The Balmain Leagues Club has settled its dispute with developer Rozelle Village, five months after its injunction to prevent any bid to place the club into receivership.

    An intriguing detail of the agreement stipulates the club must hand over “copies of any correspondence, emails, text messages, invoices, reports or other written material” it has received from developer Benny Elias in the past 12 months.

    Documents obtained by Fairfax Media reveal the Balmain Tigers rugby league legend appears to have been receiving monthly payments of more than $21,000 from the club, despite walking away from Rozelle Village in August last year and holding no formal role with the club since 2009.

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    Legal battle settled: The old Balmain Leagues Club site at Rozelle. Photo: Simon Alekna
    The club’s spokesman Danny Munk said the amount was an ongoing “administration fee” it was required to pay under a contractual arrangement with Rozelle Village.

    “We’ve been instructed by Rozelle Village to make payments that we owe them to Ben Elias,” he said.

    Rozelle Village was a joint venture between Mr Elias and Ian Wright when it bought the financially embattled club’s headquarters for $1 in 2009 in return for taking over its debts of $23.5 million.

    A new clubhouse was part of Rozelle Village’s controversial high-rise redevelopment bid, which was killed off by planning authorities in April.

    Mr Wright, who has fallen out with his former business partner, said the administration fee was negotiated by Mr Elias and “Rozelle Village wanted nothing to do with it”.

    “[Rozelle Village] directed the club, if it felt it was obliged to make the payments, that they weren’t to be made to Rozelle Village, they were to be made to Elias,” he said.

    Mr Elias declined to comment.

    The club, which sought the Supreme Court injunction in March, withdrew its legal action when it reached an agreement with Rozelle Village on Friday.

    In a joint statement with Rozelle Village, the club said they would both work with Leichhardt Council “to find a solution to their development concerns which have prevented the club from returning to its heartland at Rozelle”.

    “The only solution to facilitate a return of the Club to Rozelle is a planning solution, and it is vital that Leichhardt Council become part of that solution,” Mr Munk said.

    According to the new terms, the club’s right to lease premises at the site may be terminated if development consent is not granted by a “sunset date” of November 29 next year.

    But Mr Wright said the relationship with the club was “back on track” and both were committed to proceed with plans to develop the Victoria Road site.

    “It has always been our preference to work with the Balmain Leagues Club through its financial situation and facilitate its return to a new Club at Rozelle,” Mr Wright said.

    Leichhardt’s mayor Darcy Byrne welcomed the agreement, saying “it’s not too late for the developer to compromise and propose a much smaller scale development”.

    “Rozelle Village’s last three development proposals have been rejected by the State Government due to concerns they would have brought traffic on Victoria Rd to a standstill,” Cr Byrne said.

    “The Council, the developer and the State Government should now act responsibly to achieve a sensible redevelopment that won’t turn Rozelle into Bondi Junction.”

    Posted using RoarFEED V.4


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