The Changing Face Of Redfern

September 2nd, 2022 - by Brad Gillespie

Wetlands, market gardens, factories, and railway yards – constantly evolving Redfern has been home to all of these over the years, and the suburb continues to change and grow.

We take a look at Redfern’s latest transformations and what’s planned for the future.

Redfern 2022: foodie heaven

Redfern’s latest transformation has been slowly building pace since the early 2000s.

Today it is one of Sydney’s most exciting food and drink destinations. An influx of new eateries in recent years has injected creativity and flavour into Redfern’s dining scene. No matter what you’re in the mood for or the time of day, there are plenty of cafes, bakeries, coffee shops, restaurants, bars and pubs waiting to sate your appetite. Wine bar Bart Jr serves up top-notch seasonal food and shared plates inside a heritage-listed shopfront on Pitt Street, while Redfern dining stalwart Kepos Street Kitchen is responsible for arguably the best Israeli food Sydney has to offer. The Sunshine Inn is the perfect place for a spot of people watching with a drink in the sun on Redfern Street, or visit Bush on George Street for distinctly Australian fare like wattle seed damper and fairy bread and butter pudding.

An emerging art haven

Redfern is now also home to a small but perfectly formed clutch of art galleries. 107 Redfern, housed in a repurposed car garage on Redfern Street, features a new permanent exhibition by collaborators Will Coles and 2022 Archibald winner Blak Douglas. Duckrabbit on Little Eveleigh Street shows innovative and contemporary art by local artists, including the annual Vincent Prize group show, while Redfern Art Gallery specialises in modern design and mid-century Australian art.

Plans afoot for the North Eveleigh precinct

Following the successful transformation of South Eveleigh into a vibrant inner city destination for work and play, the state government has recently announced plans to regenerate Redfern’s North Eveleigh precinct.

The 10-hectare site, currently home to underutilised rail yards, sits just southwest of Redfern station. The government plans to turn it into a ‘city-shaping precinct’ complete with 450 new homes, offices for entertainment and technology companies, and retail and community spaces.

Detailed planning is still to come, but plans so far include 16 new and restored buildings ranging in height from three to 28 storeys. Two 135-year-old buildings - The Paint Shop, a red brick workshop used to repair trains until 1988, and the Chief Mechanical Engineer’s building - will be restored for reuse.

The planned new housing will include 15 per cent social and affordable homes and a further 15 per cent earmarked for build-to-rent or student accommodation. The project also includes plans for new public parkland near 505 Wilson Street and a new public square near the Paint Shop and Carriageworks.

Minister for Cities Rob Stokes says that the North Eveleigh precinct will feature dedicated spaces for start-up businesses, as well as improved active transport connections to and from Redfern Station and the Sydney bike network.

The North Eveleigh restoration project is the latest step towards the government’s vision for Tech Central, a world-leading technology zone stretching from Central Station to Camperdown. The plan is to develop a centre of technology and innovation that attracts companies and talent from around the world.

It’s important to acknowledge that the North Eveleigh area is steeped in both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal history and heritage. The government has pledged to respect North Eveleigh’s distinctive cultural, industrial and historic factors throughout the redevelopment process.

Redfern property prices have been changing too

These days Redfern is home to an ideal inner city mix of housing, including character-filled Victorian terraces, designer industrial warehouse conversions and chic contemporary apartments. Its ever-growing popularity as a desirable place to live is reflected in rising property prices. The median house price in Redfern has grown by 14.7% over the last twelve months to reach $1,835,000, while the median unit price is now $1,000,500 following a 5.3% rise in the last year.

Investors will be interested to note that rental prices have also increased over the last year. Redfern’s median house rent has risen by 6.9% to reach $850 per week. Units, meanwhile, now rent for $600 per week following 4.3% growth since August 2021. The vacancy rate as of June is a low 1.3%, and the 2021 Census data reveals that 61.9% of properties are rented, twice the NSW and Australian average.

If you’re interested in selling, buying or investing in Redfern, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team today.