RSL Re-developments

A wave of lucrative, high-profile RSL redevelopments is coming to fruition, with another tranche of proposals under way, but proponents warn that club projects shouldn’t be viewed as low-hanging fruit.

The combination of long- and short-term trends in the hospitality and clubs sector have made RSLs and other community clubs an enticing target for developers in recent years, with the number and scale of projects accelerating.

With favourable locations and site sizes, and a hungry partner, the financial appeal for developers is obvious. But proponents involved in club redevelopment ventures warn that the sector comes with a its own set of considerations and requirements, and that each project can be a difficult and individual process to get right.

Chairman of Capital Corporation Steve Grant suggests that understanding the existing business model and operations of the club, as well as convincing voting club members to get behind a plan, is crucial to success.

“We’ll go in, we do a demographics study, we look at their financials, we’ll understand the use of this space,” says Grant.

Capital Corporation’s project Bond, a joint venture with Bondi Junction RSL, is currently under construction with residential apartments at its core, but other club redevelopments in recent years have featured commercial towers, retail, hotels, or community and hospitality spaces.

“We’re going to have a holistic view of the club and see how we can improve the situation, regardless of whether it’s to knock it down tomorrow, or come up with a staged conversion, or whatever happens. Every case is different,” Grant says.

“They don’t always have spare land, they don’t always have good zoning. It’s really about meeting the people, understanding their constraints and putting together something that is going to help them survive and prosper.”

Read more at The Urban Developer.