Corrimal Leagues Club will be demolished to make way for an apartment complex following a sale that has caught some staff and long-term patrons off-guard.
The club closed without warning on Tuesday morning, ending at least a decade of financial turmoil.
On Friday, Village Building Co (VBC) confirmed its acquisition of the site, and flagged plans to begin developing as soon as mid-November. The company inherited an active development application that allows for 60 apartments and six villas to be built in place of the once-popular club.
Kate Freeman, VBC general manager sales marketing and communications, said the apartments would be built over two blocks, each four storeys high, including basement level.
VBC is the developer behind Bulli’s Edgewood and The Brickworks developments. In a statement, company CEO Travis Doherty said the company had a “strong history of quality developments in the Illawarra region”. “We look forward to continuing to our tradition of providing well planned, highly livable and environmentally responsible communities to the Illawarra.”
The sale price has not been revealed; Fairfax can confirm it fell shy of eight figures.
In a statement to members, club owners the Aster Group blamed the venue’s poor recent performance for the closure.
“Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, Corrimal Leagues Club has not performed as anticipated and so the sale represents a difficult but necessary business decision for the wellbeing of our portfolio as a whole.”
Speaking to Fairfax, Aster Group CEO Daniel Munk cited the abundance of clubs, pubs and other hospitality venues in Wollongong’s northern suburbs as a contributor to the club’s downfall. “Since the club was created 60 years ago the market has changed very significantly and in many ways there’s probably more options than there really should be for the market to support,” he said. “The northern suburbs was a difficult market.”
According to Mr Munk the venue employs 6-8 staff, and others who divide their working hours between the amalgamated venues. The group has offered all displaced staff roles at its other venues.
Its 2500-3000 memberships will be valid at Aster Group’s other venues. The group will retain licenses for 70 poker machines, which can now be on-sold or moved into its other venues.