With a long and vibrant history, a new generation of buyers are flocking to the area for its enviable mix of old and new.
Located right by the water and just a short walk to the CBD, the Inner-west suburb of Glebe was once a key spot for industry, shipping activity and workers’ cottages.
Today, in the midst of a contemporary makeover, it’s one of the most sought-after hotspots in Sydney.
Glebe’s popularity saw its median prices for homes reach $2.345 million at the end of May ’22 — up 35% year-on-year.
However, while some of the area’s most iconic landmarks are being given a modern makeover, the suburb is retaining its unique identity and link to history, says Noel Lucas-Martinez, director of residential sales at Belle Property Pyrmont.
“Glebe has transformed over the years — some would say gentrified from a once gritty area of Sydney to a fashionable harbourside neighbourhood,” Lucas-Martinez says.
“However, its true appeal hasn’t changed.”
History and diversity
Glebe was originally the land of the Gadigal clan of the Eora Nation before European settlement. Land for the first school was granted by Governor Phillip in 1790, while Glebe Point Road was created in 1828 and the Glebe Municipal Council was formed in 1859.
Moving to more recent history, the iconic Anzac Bridge that connects Glebe to Pyrmont was built in 1992, while the popular Broadway Shopping Centre opened in 1998.
Over the years, Glebe has buzzed with arts, sports, culture, international food and education, being home to The University of Sydney and University of Technology Sydney.
Glebe has long been popular with professionals, students and families alike.
Lucas-Martinez says Glebe has recently benefited from exciting new shopping and dining facilities, upgraded public transport links and luxurious living developments — all while retaining its character as an eclectic urban village.
“The rich history of Glebe continues to be very evident, especially in the tree-lined streets, waterfront parks and historic grand terrace homes which are constantly being renovated and restored to their former glory,” he says.
“Glebe is a lively and diverse place to live and is in many ways unique, particularly as a melting pot of all kinds of people from different backgrounds.
“The village feel of Glebe Point Road shops is another part that has endured and is one of Glebe’s great appeals.”
A contemporary revival
In the last few years, some exciting changes have made Glebe an even more appealing place to shop, eat out and live.
Angus Moore, economist at realestate.com.au, points to Tramsheds as an example of a great innovation that captures the best of today’s lifestyle while respecting the site’s history since 1904 as the Rozelle Tramway Depot.
“Glebe, being an inner-city area, obviously has a long history in Sydney and there’s a real mix of dwellings and uses of the amenities,” moore says. “Tramsheds now has a lot of restaurants, a supermarket and also a Messina gelato store.”
Boradway Shopping Centre was another local destination that went through a recent renovaiton, while Moore adds that the much-anticipated revitalisation of the famous Sydney Fish Markets is under way.
The sophisticated new Sydney Fish Market is due to launch in Glebe’s Blackwattle Bay in 2024.
New transport is also part of Glebe’s makeover. While the old tram tracks along Glebe Point Road are no longer in use, the new extended light rail that runs through the centre of Glebe offers a truly modern, connected hub.
“The light rail runs from the inner west in Dulwich Hill across to Glebe, then into Darling Harbour, Ultimo and then to Central to change to other services all across Sydney,” Moore adds.
As a key part of Sydney’s history, Glebe has plenty of cherished historic housing. John Andreas of WMK Architecture says it has prime examples of traditional Victorian era workers’ cottages through to grand Edwardian homes.
“The predominant typology in the area is the terrace house, but a lot of the old terrace houses are quite dark, not getting a huge amount of light,” he says.
Millard Place The Terraces are Torrens title and prices range from $4 million.
Andreas has resolved this in a new Glebe development, Millard Place The Terraces, which are inspired by the much-loved terrace style while recreating it for the best of contemporary, luxury living.
Designed along with Biasol and Black Beetle, the 15 homes each have a central light-filled atrium, as well as four bedrooms, open plan living areas, European appliances and their own private lift.
He points out that in keeping with Glebe’s old versus new flavour, the site’s history as the former home of Glenmore Meats hasn’t been forgotten.
“The circular cut outs on the exterior design are a nod to the old giant Glenmore Meats sign that used to be on there,” he says.
“If people can see that sense of the intimate, finer scale, as well as the grander scale of Glebe that it’s referencing, then I think we’ve done a good job architecturally.”
Pictures are courtesy of Belle Property Pyrmont.