Weekend in Alexandria
Want to know how the Alexandria locals spend their downtime? There are plenty of surprises to discover so let us show you along the roaring main drags and down tranquil back streets in our weekend guide.
Professionals, hipsters and artisans have replaced truck drivers and factory workers in the thriving urban renewal hotspot of Alexandria.
Australia’s largest industrial district in the 1940s, Alexandria has gone from manufacturing bricks and aircraft to microbrews and artisan foods, with large-scale land rezoning accelerating its gentrification.
Wedged between the city and airport, Alexandria is just one stop from Central via Green Square Station, with dedicated cycle paths along Bourke Road offering an alternative connection to the city, inner west, Botany Bay and beyond.
The local population is largely made up of full-time young professionals, according to the latest Census figures. With an average age of 33, Alexandria is also home to a cluster of families, accounting for a quarter of its population. If you’re looking for your own slice of Alexandria real estate, or just stopping by for a visit, read on.
Alexandria is a favoured destination for Sydney’s weekend brunch crowd, with excellent coffee and freshly baked bread a given at most venues. Make coffee the main event at the roasting headquarters for Mecca Coffee, or try an Israeli breakfast at Grandma’s bakery. Of course, there’s also The Grounds, a landmark café, restaurant and bar that serves produce fresh from its own organic gardens.
Auctions and open houses are a Saturday staple in this unique corner of the inner west. Apartments comprise more than half of the property stock, with many new developments incorporating original industrial facades. Victorian terraces, semi-detached homes and a small number of freestanding cottages can be found in the back streets, while converted warehouses occasionally come onto the market, offering unique homes and office spaces.
Alexandria’s house prices have leapt by almost 18 per cent to a median of $1,575,000 over the past three years, while units have gone up more than 25 per cent to $752,000. Alexandria’s properties are occupied by an equal mix of owner-occupiers and renters. The suburb’s lifestyle offerings and proximity to the city attract well-heeled tenants, who pay more than $800 per week on average.
If you’ve already secured your piece of Alexandria, you won’t need to travel far to source the finishing touches. Along Botany Road and O’Riordan Street you’ll find everything from flooring to lighting, major furniture brands and homewares retailers.
With the serious adult jobs taken care of, it’s time to unleash your child – or inner-child – at one of the suburb’s indoor play areas. Jump and rock climb at Sky Zone, have a coffee while toddlers explore stylish play centre Nubo, or join the fun at Archie Bros Electric Circus. The latter is a carnival-themed warehouse filled with old-school amusements including dodgem cars, ten-pin bowling and arcade games.
You could also round up some friends and book at court at Allsorts for a casual indoor soccer match, or run riot in the world’s largest soccer concept store, Ultra Football. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, munch on authentic onsite Italian fare at Zona Azzurri. If you have little ones in tow, Bitton on Copeland Street offers a play area, French-inspired dishes and house-made condiments. Fur babies are also in for a treat, with an off-leash dog park across the road.
If your feet need a rest, head to newly unveiled Green Square Library. The unique facility spans from a six-storey glass tower with a music room and technology suite, to a subterranean space and outdoor plaza with a storytelling garden and water play zone. Awarded a 5-star rating by the Green Building Council of Australia, the library is part of a major urban renewal project. It adjoins a cluster of new apartments set to house 61,000 residents, and a new town hub with an aquatic centre and community park.
Then it’s time for some retail therapy. Alexandria and the surrounding areas of Rosebery and Waterloo are a shopper’s paradise, with warehouses hosting pop-up fashion sales and permanent outlets for brands ranging from Cotton On to Zimmermann.
With your outfit sorted, it’s time to settle in for dinner and drinks. Join the beautiful people at Cooh for wholesome dining in a chic, airy space, or sample the Lebanese cuisine at Al Aseel – the inner-city sibling to the famed western Sydney chain. Wash it all down with a micro-brew at Rocks Brewing Co, or settle in at No.5, a warehouse-turned restaurant and bar, for live music and a nightcap.
Looking for a place to lay your hat in Alexandria? Check out our latest listings here.
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