The nonprofit group, which has pledged to keep Leichhardt’s controversial Italian forum in the hands of the Italian community, has sold the space to a mysterious developer who refuses to reveal the names of its directors or any information about past projects.
Co.As.It, an Italian community organization that acquired the 5,000-square-foot site in 2014 for $2.8 million, announced Tuesday morning in the latest chapter of the ill-fated fateful innerwest location.
The site — which includes the cultural center, public piazza, and a small adjacent shop, but not the surrounding apartments — was sold to the company for $11 million. The massive space was donated as a gift to the Italian community by then NSW Prime Minister Neville Wran in 1988 and in its heyday was home to more than a dozen Italian restaurants, fashion shops, a fountain, a theater and a center dedicated to Italian culture and history.
But now it is almost completely empty with only a few shops left. The theater has been leased to a drama school, some combustible Styrofoam arches have been removed due to a fire hazard and the fountain only flows occasionally due to a leak.
It is hoped the sale will revitalize the center – but very little is known about the company buying it. Redstone does not have a listed website and did not list the names of its directors. In a statement, a PR spokesman acting on behalf of the company said it was “a privately held developer founded in 2019.”
“We are currently exploring options to revitalize the Italian Forum district to modernize its facilities while continuing its legacy. We will share more information in due course,” they said.
Company research does not reveal the identity of Redstone’s owners. It appears to be the group’s first major development project.
Thomas Camporeale, Co.As.It’s chief executive, said it’s “no secret” that the forum has declined significantly over time and he hopes sales will revitalize it.
https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/leichhardt-s-rundown-italian-forum-sold-to-mystery-developer-20230404-p5cy09.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_national_nsw Leichhardt complex sold to mysterious developer