Planning row in The Rocks Sydney Mercantile Hotel and $125million redevelopment of Sirius building

A building row has broken out between Australia’s oldest Irish pub and a developer’s $125million plans to revamp one of Sydney’s most famous public housing blocks.

The Mercantile Hotel in The Rocks is concerned the new residents of the Sirius building just metres away will complain about the noise coming from its planned rooftop bar.

The pub gained approval at the end of 2019 to build the rooftop bar and restaurant which will host live music and hold up to 150 patrons until 10pm every night.

A popular haunt with tourists and locals alike nestled among The Rocks markets, it is believed to be the oldest Irish pub in Australia.

Meanwhile, 76 newly built apartments are currently being planned for the Sirius building which sits famously at the foot of the Harbour Bridge.

The Mercantile Hotel in The Rocks (pictured) has had plans approved to build a rooftop bar and restaurant which will host live music up until 10pm each night

The Mercantile Hotel in The Rocks (pictured) has had plans approved to build a rooftop bar and restaurant which will host live music up until 10pm each night

The Mercantile Hotel detailed its concerns in a submission to the NSW government.

‘It is obvious that some of the lower level apartments of the Sirius building adjacent the Hotel will be impacted by the future rooftop development of the Hotel,’ the submission said.

‘The owners of the Mercantile Hotel are concerned that future residents may complain in regards to noise and disturbance, and compromise any future ability to operate within the permitted trial periods for hours of operation.’

The hotel said they reviewed the Noise Impact report carried out by Sirius but believed it didn’t take into consideration the potential level of noise that could come from the venue.

The pub said the report needed to be updated to ensure all bedrooms and living rooms within 100m to the hotel were fitted with glazed windows and acoustic seals. 

‘We would also recommend that any external balconies or habitable rooms that overlook the Mercantile Hotel are fitted with appropriate privacy screening to avoid any future complaints from residents in relation to loss of privacy or overlooking from the rooftop of the hotel,’ the submission said.

John Green, the development director for JDH said all the apartments would have glazed windows, doors and acoustic seals, and the ones closest to the hotel would have screens on their balconies.  

The Irish pub is just metres away from the Sirius building and owners are concerned the new tenants of the revamped units (pictured, the current facade) will complain about the noise from the rooftop bar

The Irish pub is just metres away from the Sirius building and owners are concerned the new tenants of the revamped units (pictured, the current facade) will complain about the noise from the rooftop bar

The redevelopment of the Sirius building, which was built in the 1970s, sparked much controversy from the Sydney community.

It sits beside the southern end of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, looking out to Circular Quay and the Opera House and the last of the public housing tenants were removed in 2018. 

The last Sirius resident, Myra Demetriou, then 91, moved out in February 2018 after a long-fought battle to stay after the NSW government revealed plans to sell the building to developers in 2014.

The legally blind great grandmother was the face of the long running Save Our Sirius community campaign which tried to save tenants from being evicted.

Ms Demetriou had lived on the top floor of the high-rise block for ten years before she was relocated to Pyrmont. 

The building was then sold to JDH Capital for $150million last year.

Many including Sydney Mayor, Clover Moore, were concerned the redevelopment would be taking away a public housing facility for residents.

Campaigners pushed for the site to become heritage listed but it was never added.

JDH Capital plans to revamp the building by adding a gym, a pool, 70 car spots, a cafe and commercial spaces.

The iconic Sirius building will be transformed into a luxury unit complex by JDH Capital

The iconic Sirius building will be transformed into a luxury unit complex by JDH Capital

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