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Queen Adelaide Club orders up a 21-storey tower

WHILE the old boys of the Adelaide Club were busy opposing a rooftop bar next door, just metres along North Tce the women at their exclusive sister institution were drawing up plans for a 21-storey mega-club and retirement village.

The 105-year-old Queen Adelaide Club has gained approval to knock down two of its three local heritage-listed buildings to make way for a $30 million expansion aimed at securing its financial future.

The club itself will sprawl over six floors with dining rooms, lounges and bars, a function level with a wine store, a library and business centre and six accommodation rooms for members of affiliated clubs around the world.

The rest of the tower will house a “vertical retirement village” mainly for club members. Each of the upper 14 levels will have a pair of three-bedroom apartments, whose residents will have exclusive access to a communal garden, kitchen, lounge and dining area on the rooftop.

“The attraction is, if you are a club member, you can access the services of the club and all of its activities just down a lift (from your apartment),” said architect Mario Dreosti, a director at Brown Falconer.

“It’s quite a unique model and could be applied for sailing clubs or golf clubs.”

Mr Dreosti said the expansion of the 900-member club served multiple purposes, including reintroducing on-site accommodation to avoid having to sending affiliates down the road to stay at the Adelaide Club.

“The club had two challenges — their long-term financial sustainability, but also they do quite a lot of functions there and the existing buildings didn’t have the facilities to handle them as well as they could have,” Mr Dreosti said.

He would not put a price on the retirement apartments, where the club will offer meal and cleaning services, but said they will all feature both north and south facing balconies and be at the “premium” end of the market.

The heritage building at the corner of Stephens Place and North Tce will remain as the club’s main entrance at the tower’s base, next to a new high end retail tenancy that Mr Dreosti said “could be suitable for an Oroton or a Prada”.

The Development Assessment Commission approved the plans on Thursday.

The Adelaide Club for gentlemen opposed a $3 million rooftop bar and dining complex planned for the top of the neighbouring former Westpac building on the King William St/North Tce corner, but a compromise over closing times and entertainment conditions has now been struck.

The Adelaide Club, which has more modest $2.5 million redevelopment plans of its own, also managed to restrict the hours of the Jamie Oliver restaurant set to open next door.
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