Doltone House to transform Paddy’s Market into a food and drink venue in Chinatown

“It’s a Sydney institution,” said Judy Kim, who has been selling jewelry at her stand for 22 years. “Mom and Dad bring the kids, they come here to have fun. My clients say, “When I was a little kid, I [came] here, now I’m grown up, I’m coming here [with my children]’.”

Kim’s husband has written to Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet and Opposition Leader Chris Minns on the matter. Bag and luggage retailer Yiming Weng also said the forced move was unfair.

Longtime stall owners David Chen, Scott Kopuz and Yiming Weng are upset about the market's plans to introduce Doltone House.

Longtime stall owners David Chen, Scott Kopuz and Yiming Weng are upset about the market’s plans to introduce Doltone House.Credit:Nick Moir

“The [area] They give me over there, there’s no one there, it’s just for storage,” Weng said. “Why take away our premium position? There is a lot of space here.”

However, managers said the Doltone development would also involve a complete refresh and redesign of the market, so locations deemed less desirable would not remain so.

Most traders agree the market needs to improve, and even stallholders who oppose the plan admit others support it. Souvenir dealer Scott Kupoz, who has been trading at Paddy’s since it retired from Redfern in 1993, said it might be the market’s management that should change.

Managers have spent years looking for a primary tenant for the store and had previously considered the Chemist Warehouse, but that never materialized. Doltone operates multiple wedding and event venues in Sydney including Jones Bay Wharf, Hyde Park and Sylvania Waters.

Managers say the market has been left behind by changing consumer preferences.

Managers say the market has been left behind by changing consumer preferences.Credit:Nick Moir

The plan still has to clear a number of bureaucratic hurdles, including approval from the Placemaking NSW government agency and approval from the City of Sydney.

A spokesman for Placemaking NSW said the agency is awaiting plans and will “take into account the heritage of the building as well as the revitalization of markets and the surrounding area” in its assessment.

The project comes at a critical time for Chinatown. Although it has benefited from the transformation of George Street as a pedestrian and light rail boulevard, it has been hit hard by COVID-19 and now has to compete with the flashier new Darling Square precinct next door.

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Haymarket restaurant Zilver will close next month after 30 years, citing a redevelopment of its Hay Street building. The restaurant has another branch in Bondi Junction.

Kevin Cheng, who runs the Soul of Chinatown organization, said the area needs to rejuvenate and reinvent itself, but not at the expense of the existing community.

“Farmers markets and markets in general have a long history in Haymarket and Chinatown. It’s still a big draw for locals and tourists alike,” he said. “It would be a shame if that weren’t the case anymore. I don’t know if that’s the right step.”

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https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/paddy-s-market-makeover-plan-to-redo-site-as-doltone-house-food-venture-20230125-p5cfbi.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_national_nsw Doltone House to transform Paddy’s Market into a food and drink venue in Chinatown

Callan Tansill

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