Nutshell Knows: Marrickville

Welcome to Nutshell Knows, a series where we dive into the past, present and future of some of Sydney’s thriving inner west communities. In this edition, we profile Marrickville, the largest suburb in Sydney’s inner west and one with a rich industrial heritage that continues to shape the community as we know it today.

The Basics: Geography, Population and Demographics

Geographically, Marrickville is the largest suburb in Sydney’s inner west. It shares a border with Dulwich Hill, Petersham, Lewisham, Stanmore, Enmore, Newtown, St. Peters, Sydenham, Earlwood and Tempe, and sits roughly seven kilometres south-west of the Sydney CBD.

It’s main roads, Marrickville Road, Illawarra Road, Livingstone Road and Victoria Road encompass both residential and commercial areas, and the wider council area is home to roughly 85,000 residents.

According to census data, the area is characterised by medium and high density housing, with a weekly rent close to $60 over the national average.

Marrickville: Community Snapshot

Marrickville has also seen some of the most dramatic examples of gentrification in Sydney’s inner west. An article published in the Sydney Morning Herald as early as 2010 labelled Marrickville “the new Paddington”, citing booming property prices and the opening of “bohemian-style cafes” as examples of its evolving community.

“Enrolments in local primary schools are up between 10 and 50 per cent over the past five years, thanks to a baby boom among young professionals,” the article reads.

It also cites a rental vacancy of less than 1 per cent, a crime rate lower than in North Sydney and a dramatically shorter supply of narcotics as drivers of Marrickville’s changing community.

In the 6 years following the article’s publication, Marrickville’s gentrification endures, property prices continue to soar, demand remains high for residential and commercial properties, and the cafes enjoy a roaring trade.

Yet the Marrickville of today is truly a world away from a century ago.

The Marrickville of the Past

Local historian, Chrys Meader, has written a compelling account of Marrickville’s history, in which he paints a picture of a very different community to what we see today.

In the late 19th century, Marrickville was a rural suburb occupied by wealthy politicians and dairy farmers. By 1900, farms had given way to factories, as brick-making, woollen mills, steel, metal, and automotive industries were established and a new working-class population took root.

Between World War I and World War II, Marrickville’s industrial growth soared and by 1935 there were over 130 manufacturers in the suburb. The gradual deindustrialisation of Marrickville started in the 1970s with the closure of the woollen mills and potteries. A vibrant Greek community arrived after the war, and the suburb even became known as “the Athens of the west” in Sydney. Vietnamese and Chinese migrants arrived in the 1980s to form part of the multicultural Marrickville we enjoy today.

Marrickville Tomorrow

Both residential and commercial property owners in Marrickville have a lot to be optimistic about. High rental demand endures, and a new market of businesses are flocking to warehouse spaces in search of a modern workspace with character.

There is also strong predicted growth in the suburb, and promising comparisons to the rest of the state. In 2016, there were an average 1100 visits per property, compared to 641 visits per property in wider NSW.

For commercial property owners in the area, enlisting the services of an agent with a keen understanding of the local area and its rich cultural heritage is critical to success.

To discuss your commercial property in Marrickville, get in touch with us today.

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