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About Haymarket HQ

Haymarket HQ provides co-working space, mentorship, and education to startups and companies. The company specializes in supporting early-stage companies and companies that want to grow into Asian markets. It is based in Sydney, Australia.

Haymarket HQ Headquarters Location

Level 2, 63 Dixon street

Sydney, New South Wales, 2000,

Australia

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Latest Haymarket HQ News

‘Dark, dingy and losing its character’: Can Chinatown’s decline be turned around?

Jul 16, 2022

Advertisement Hotels, a new technology precinct and cultural events will transform Chinatown over the next 10 years as it slowly rebuilds after the devastation of COVID-19 lockdowns and years of major construction works. Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore warned that Chinatown has not yet recovered from the pandemic, while a community group said the precinct risked losing its unique streetscape and heritage through gentrification and a lack of consultation with local businesses and residents. Visitors are returning to Sydney’s Chinatown as it recovers from the devastation caused by COVID-19 lockdowns and years of major construction works. Credit:Wolter Peeters Three new hotels are among the multimillion-dollar developments proposed for Chinatown, including a 15-storey hotel at the former headquarters of the Transport Workers’ Union on Sussex Street. A new Museum of Chinese in Australia is also scheduled to open in 2023 in a historic building on George Street that previously housed the Haymarket Library. Moore said the council had “worked tirelessly” since COVID-19 restrictions were lifted last year to attract visitors back to Chinatown, with entertainment, grants for events and the Lunar New Year Festival. She pointed to upgrades of streets as well as the Dixon Street Mall and Ceremonial Gate to make the area more attractive. Major building projects were a “vote of confidence” in Chinatown, but Moore said the precinct continued to suffer as many people still worked from home and travel for tourism, business and education remained restricted. “Our city centre won’t fully bounce back until we can get on top of new COVID-19 variants and see workers, tourists and international students return in earnest,” she said. Haymarket Chamber of Commerce president Vincent Lim said the projects were the “clearest indication that there is significant confidence in the long-term prospects of Sydney’s Chinatown”. Advertisement Lim said the new developments, including luxury hotels, would gentrify parts of Chinatown that have long been neglected. “We can also expect a greater variety of entertainment and dining offerings to complement the existing Asian cuisines.” Atlassian’s new Sydney headquarters in a technology precinct next to Central Station will also boost Chinatown, he said. The number of stallholders and visitors at Chinatown’s Friday Night Markets has bounced back this year but not to pre-Covid levels. Credit:Wolter Peeters Lim’s upbeat assessment is shared by John Ryan, owner of The Covent Garden Hotel on Hay Street, who said the major developments were a sign of optimism in Chinatown, while the new technology hub “will see a boom in office workers in the southern part of the city”. But Kevin Cheng, the co-founder of community group Soul of Chinatown, said the precinct was “dark, dingy and losing its character day by day. The Chinatown gates need to be urgently spruced up.” “We are concerned that the historic character, heritage and unique streetscape of Chinatown will continue to be lost through new developments and inaction,” he said. Cheng called for more events in Chinatown throughout the year such as the upcoming Neon Playground that will bring art and light installations – and not just during Lunar New Year. “In the 21st century, Chinatown is no longer an exclusive Chinese area, but has become more multicultura.” Alexandra Wong, a research fellow at Western Sydney University’s Institute for Culture and Society Cheng said the NSW government does not “really seem to be doing much at all in Chinatown”. “All levels of government need to engage with the Chinatown community directly, whether it be businesses, residents, visitors and community groups,” he said. “Quite frankly, nobody is doing that right now, nobody is getting boots on the ground, nobody is talking to people, and nobody is listening.” Brad Chan, the founder of Haymarket HQ, a startup hub for entrepreneurs, said Chinatown was one of Sydney’s most popular tourist destinations and arguably warranted extra funding from local and state governments. “There are also opportunities for pop-ups and creative uses for vacant shops,” he said. “Public spaces can be reimagined in ways to allow people to socialise and join in community activities such as Tai Chi classes, street performances and interactive lighting displays.” Chinatown was an early victim of COVID-19 fears and lockdowns, with the loss of international students and tourists devastating its hospitality and retail trade. Many businesses shut down including the Golden Century and Marigold , two of Sydney’s most iconic restaurants. However, the demolition of the Entertainment Centre and disruption caused by the construction of the light rail also affected Chinatown businesses before the pandemic, according to Alexandra Wong, a research fellow at Western Sydney University’s Institute for Culture and Society. “The deteriorating relationship between Australia and China’s government may have an indirect impact due mainly to the reduction of international students and tourists coming from China to Australia,” she said. The number of stallholders and visitors at Chinatown’s Friday Night Markets has bounced back this year but not to pre-COVID levels, said the market’s manager Ross Alexander. Loading “We are anticipating more growth in visitor numbers in the coming months when the next university term commences and this will add to our overall stallholder diversity.” Wong called on the council and state government to do more to encourage sympathetic development other than applying heritage orders. “Chinatown has a unique character and fabric and it would be ideal that new developments reflect the area’s heritage,” he said. “This has not always occurred in the past.” Suburban Chinatowns prosper Sydney boasts a number of Chinatowns in suburbs such as Eastwood, Hurstville and Burwood, which seem to be thriving as Sydney’s CBD Chinatown struggles with long COVID symptoms including vacant shopfronts and a lack of visitors. Yet Burwood’s bustling hospitality and retail precinct did not escape the pandemic, especially after it was designated as a hotspot during last year’s lockdown. Burwood’s Chinatown has bounced back from the pandemic. Credit:Brook Mitchell Burwood Council took decisive action to revive the precinct by waiving outdoor dining fees, installing public artworks and encouraging local dining and live entertainment. “We are always listening and engaging with communities and local stakeholders including property managers, small business owners and operators and community leaders who play a major role in helping drive the prosperity of [the area],” Burwood mayor John Faker said. Alexandra Wong, a research fellow at Western Sydney University’s Institute for Culture and Society, believed Burwood had been less affected by the loss of international students and tourists from China, while nearby apartment towers and good public transport brought a steady stream of visitors. Loading Wong said “Chinese ethnoburbs” such as Hurstville and Eastwood had a higher proportion of residents with Chinese ancestry than Chinatown in Haymarket. “In the 21st century, Chinatown is no longer an exclusive Chinese area, but has become more multicultural due to the rapid increase in Asian migration since 2000,” she said. Hurstville and Eastwood also have more residents who are families with children, Wong said. “In contrast, Chinatown’s residents are young professionals without children or tertiary students who rent the apartments over shorter terms.” Wong said booming suburban Chinatowns will not replace the one in the CBD, which she said may move beyond traditional ethnic food and retail businesses to include creative businesses and start-ups “with contemporary, modern multi-Asian/Chinese characteristics leveraging strong transnational connections”. Haymarket HQ founder Brad Chan said the vibrancy of Chatswood, Burwood and Eastwood could also be a reflection of the shopping habits of Asian cultures. Loading “While a suburb like Eastwood is currently thriving, 10 to 15 years ago there were many complaints about the proliferation of two-dollar shops, vacancies and lack of quality retailers,” he said. “Often an area needs to go through a local cyclical downturn in order to best revitalise and be rejuvenated.” The Morning Edition newsletter is our guide to the day’s most important and interesting stories, analysis and insights. Sign up here . Save

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  • Where is Haymarket HQ's headquarters?

    Haymarket HQ's headquarters is located at Level 2, 63 Dixon street, Sydney.

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